Posted in blog post, books, review

Did To Kill A Kingdom Restore My Faith In YA Romance?

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I was never a fan of The Little Mermaid. Really, I wasn’t a fan of any ‘classic’ Disney movie, apart from Treasure Island and Toy Story.

But, when I read the blurb for Alexandra Christo’s To Kill A Kingdom, I knew I had to have the book, and I had to read it ASAP.

That ASAP turned into a three-month wait, but I’ve now managed to read it, and my God, it was worth the wait.

To Kill A Kingdom follows the story of Princess Lira, a siren, heir to the Sea Queen’s throne, known to human’s as The Princes’ Bane. Every year, on her birthday, she hunts down and rips the heart of a young prince, delighting in the kill, proving herself to be the vicious killer her mother wants her to be.

But, when she angers her mother, The Sea Queen turns her into a human and sets her the task of killing Prince Elian, a prince turned pirate. A pirate who specifically hunts down and kills sirens, on a never-ending mission to rid the world of sirens, specifically, Lira, the Princes’ Bane.

I have to admit, when I first read the blurb, I was totally sold on the concept, but when I later looked it up on Goodreads and found out that the book was a romance, I turned skeptical.

I’ve never been keen on romance novels, or YA with romance in. There’s very few I can stand, as I always find that the love story takes over the actual plot of the book. It’s a massive pet peeve of mine and has had me DNF’ing more than one book in the past because of it.

But, I have been trying to work on this, seeking out books with romances in that I actually like. So far, it’s been mostly a losing battle. 90% of the books I’ve tried have wound me up to the point of giving up, and I was nearly ready to give up entirely on my quest to like YA romances.

Then along came To Kill A Kingdom. 

Elian and Lira’s romance was subtle and built up over the course of the book. It was believable, it didn’t derail the storyline. They didn’t spend chapter upon chapter mooning over each other.

Instead, they sassed each other, they battled side by side, and overall, they were a believable couple. A proper hate/suspicion to love relationship, which played second fiddle to the storyline described on the back of the book.

In a lot of ways, Lira and Elian reminded me of Kell and Lila from A Darker Shade Of Magic series by V. E. Schwab, which is one of my favourite series’ of all time. They were a battle couple, who never forgot their mission, or who they were inside.

Yes, they were on opposite sides, but they grew to be on the same one. They argued, they snarked, and they certainly didn’t trust each other for the majority of the story. But I loved it!

And that’s without talking about the characters, who were all excellent additions to the cast. I loved Elian’s pirate crew, the evil Sea Queen, the mythology surrounding this world. It was beautifully crafted and perfectly put together.

My only problem was that I wished we had more detail of the sirens in Lira’s life. We saw many people from Elian’s life, but very few from Lira. I would have liked to have seen more people from her kingdom and her family.

Other than that, I loved this book. It restored my faith in YA romances, and in YA in general. It was brilliant and so worth the hype it gets.

4/5 stars, without question!

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Posted in blog post, brilliance, dinosaurs, fan, film, Jurassic Park, review

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Spoiler Free Review

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Jurassic Park has been a landmark film franchise for the last 28 years, ever since the first one burst onto our screens in 1990. It pushed the boundaries of CGI and animatronics, scared the living daylights out of small children, and delighted adults for three films.

Then, Jurassic World came along three years ago, and some fans were left disappointed. Others, like myself, were wowed by the new material.

But, does it’s sequel, Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom, do any better? Or does it suffer from second-film-fatigue?

In short, Fallen Kingdom leaves the first Jurassic World in the dust.

This time, the dinosaurs are off the island, saved from their second extinction, only to be sold off to the highest bidder. Owen (Christ Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) set out to stop it, with the help of two new interns and a little girl – the granddaughter of Hammond’s business partner, who holds the key to a new storyline for the franchise.

They’re off-island, back in the ‘real world’, and the danger is only just getting started.

Filled with edge-of-your-seat-tension, terrifying dinosaurs (including a new breed Dr Wu has come up with), and a surprising amount of humour, Jurassic World is a thrill ride I cannot forget.

I’d even go as far to say that this is the best film in the franchise after the original one, it’s that good.

Yes, the storyline is a little far-fetched in places. Yes, the plot is skin-thin. Yes, it’s more of people getting eaten, apart from our heroes.

But, it’s fun. This film encapsulates everything that is fun about Jurassic Park as a franchise. It’s all about the scary dinosaurs, eating people and scaring the living daylights out of you. That’s what Jurassic World has always been about.

For some, the formula may be getting tiring, but, for a lot of the audience, including myself, this was incredible amounts of fun.

I loved every second, my mum, a dedicated fan of the franchise ever since it came out, was in awe, my best friend, a huge dinosaur fan, was unbelievably into it.

And I truly believe that sceptics of the first Jurassic World should give this one a chance. This one has learnt what the essense of this series is, and has filled itself with references to the original films. Any die-hard fan will spot the references to beloved scenes from the original three, and will love to see the return of Malcolm, even though his part is small.

All in all, I loved Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom. It’s classic Jurassic Park, with added references, a bit more humour, and slightly more layered plot. The dinsoaurs are fantastic, the humans being eaten scenes are fantastic, and the tension had my heart pounding with exhilaration.

I cannot recommend Fallen Kingdom enough, to die-hards, sceptics, and general fans of dinosaurs alike. The franchise feels invigorated, and is now about to go down a new path, and an incredibly interesting one at that.

I, for one, cannot wait for the sequel. I just hope I don’t have to wait another 3 years for it!

 

Posted in blog post, books, brilliance, fan, McFly, review, words

Eve Of Man By Tom and Giovanna Fletcher Spoiler Free Review

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What happens if no girls are born in 50 years? What if the human race has lost hope, resigned to the fact that they’re going to go extinct? What if, then, miraculously, a girl is born?

And what if, this girl, Eve, has been lied to her entire life?

That is the story of Eve Of Man, the first in a YA trilogy, written by chart-toppers Tom and Giovanna Fletcher.

The book follows the story of Eve, the first girl born in 50 years, said to be the savior of humanity, and what happens when she falls in love with Bram and discovers that everything she has ever been told is a lie.

Now, before I go into opinions, I want to preface this by saying that I am a bit bias towards this book. I’m a massive McFly fan, and I mean massive McFly fan. I’ve followed them for 10 years this August, Tom, specifically, is my favourite. I’ve loved his previous books, I love his channel, and just generally am a massive fangirl for Tom and his band.

And, the last time I reviewed one of Tom’s books, this happened:

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So, yeah, I’m a little bit bias towards this book.

But, saying that, I was a bit wary going in. I’m not the biggest fan of love stories in books. Particularly, YA love stories. I’ve been burned a lot in the past with books giving me the most interesting storyline, for it to be derailed entirely because the main character falls for the guy, or two guys, and can’t decide which one she wants to start a relationship with. So, when I found out that this was an ‘unconventional love story’ I was a tiny bit wary.

I needn’t have worried at all.

Eve Of Man was a very fun read, and the love story did not entirely take over the storyline. While it was a big plot point, our main characters are focused entirely on unraveling the lies/setting about freeing Eve. It was fantastic to see and so refreshing to read as well.

The story kept us focused on escaping, on finding out the lies weaved through Eve’s life, on what exactly has actually been going on for the last 50 years. In short, it was riveting, I didn’t want to put it down.

Favourite things about the book:

The technology. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about RealiTV’s, holograms, Protectants, and everything inside this dystopian world. It all felt real to me as I read, not too fantastical at all, given the setting.

The flashes of Handmaid’s Tale throughout. In Eve’s POV, I definitely had a sense of Handmaid’s Tale during some moments. Not like it was a direct copy of the book/TV show, but maybe slightly inspired by Margret Atwood. It fit perfectly in this world and worked a treat in keeping the medical science element creepy.

The effect the human race had had on the world. Because the human race had lost hope, the basically gave up trying to save the planet. Global warming has gotten so bad that most of the world is now underwater, with it’s remaining people living is tall skyscrapers, built to withstand the water levels. I’ve never seen a dystopian which deals with humanities effect on the planet, so it was really interesting to see that touched on in this book.

Small niggles I had:

I would have liked a bit more detail on the Mothers, and each of their personalities. Only two really stood out to me as characters, the rest sort of melded into one. A bit more personality and detail on each would have been perfect.

Bram being more proactive than Eve. Bram seemed to do all the work in this, while Eve ended up getting swept up in it all. She had a few moments of defiance and badassery, but I would have liked to see a few more. That could be explained by her situation though, so I’ll withhold judgement on that until the trilogy is out in its entirety.

The men were said to be so untrustworthy that they weren’t allowed to even look at Eve when they were in the same room as her, as they may not be able to control their urges. I would have liked to have seen a bit more explanation into this, maybe an account of this happening in the past with other women. Or, if this was made up by the people controlling Eve, for that to have been made clear. Again, this could happen in a later trilogy, so I’m withholding judgement.

Apart from those few little problems, I really, really enjoyed this book, and have high hopes for the next two.

Tom and Giovanna have set up a very interesting world and story,  with two great characters to follow. I cannot wait to read the sequel!

4/5 stars.

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Posted in blog post, brilliance, Deadpool, fan, film, funny, gore, humour, Marvel, review, short post, X-Men, Xmen

Deadpool 2 Spoiler Free Review

Deadpool 2 Spoiler Free Review

Warning: This review contains swearing, but it’s a Deadpool review, so you probably won’t care if you’re here.

Deadpool has been a legend among Marvel comic characters ever since his creation. He defies superhero rules, swears, breaks the fourth wall and is generally the biggest fucking antihero to ever antihero.

So, naturally, his debut film starring Ryan Reynolds as the infamous Wade Wilson became the highest selling R rated movie of all time in 2016. This year his sequel came out, and the question is, does it live up to the hype of the original?

You can bet your ass it does!

Deadpool 2 is an explosive (literally) fireball of a sequel, keeping all the things fans love from the first film while keeping the storyline fresh and original.

Without giving away spoilers, Deadpool 2 is about family, responsibility and standing up for those who need a hero. It’s also about grief and the lengths people will go to to try to make things right again. It gets deep, real deep, deeper than anyone thought Deadpool could get without the help of bullets and katanas.

And yet, it’s still funny. In between the serious, heartbreaking moments where we really see who Wade Wilson is at his core, is the usual cracktastic Deadpool we all love. He breaks the 4th wall, he makes jokes that are very, very close to the mark, he still kills people in the most violent way possible.

He’s still Deadpool, but there’s so much heart in this film, I wasn’t expecting it at all.
At first, it’ll have you saying some variation of ‘what in the ass is going on here?!’ But what follows is truly one of the best films I’ve seen this year. In places it’s beautiful, in others it’s hilarious, in others you cringe in pain for characters after particularly bloody fights. Deadpool 2 was more than I could have ever imagined it would be. I loved every mad second of it.

With cameos, you never expected to see, introductions to new fan favorites, and a fantastic storyline, Deadpool 2 has proven that it is a juggernaut of a franchise that can and will break every convention the superhero genre has picked up over the years, all while being ridiculously entertaining.

If you loved Deadpool 1, you will adore Deadpool 2. It truly is a masterpiece from Fox. Something I never thought I would say (with the exception of Logan last year, which I’m still not over).

Just a word of advice -stick around after the credits roll, the end credit scene is the best thing I’ve ever seen, that had the audience screaming with laughter. It, like the rest of the film, is not to be missed.

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Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, blog post, brilliance, Chris Pratt, emotional, fan, film, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Marvel, review, writing

Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War Spoiler Free Review

 

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This time last night, I was sitting in the cinema, preparing myself for the film event of the year. A film that has been 10 years, and 18 films, in the making.

Three different sets of superheroes – Avengers, Guardians and Masters Of The Mystic Arts, all coming together to create this one film. Infinity War.

Finally, the Avengers, the Guardians Of The Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Spiderman, Black Panther, and every superhero ever introduced all teaming up to defeat one person – Thanos.

It was a risk, a huge risk. What if the audience didn’t like a certain team? What if a key superhero failed to create the buzz needed? What if Thanos wasn’t a scary enough villain?

But let me tell you, it pays off. 

This film is everything every Marvel fan has ever wanted and more.

It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s absolutely devasting.

The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been, characters actually die in this one, and they are not coming back (much to my absolute horror), and the ending is such a cliffhanger I am still in shock, 24 hours later.

To sound cliche to the maximum, which does not suit the sheer magnitude of this film, I laughed, I cried (twice), I cheered when heroes teamed up with other heroes. I gasped, I hyperventilated for the entire film, I nearly crushed my mum’s hand I was squeezing it was so hard.

Infinity War is everything I wanted and more. My predictions for the film were 90% wrong, I didn’t see anything that happened coming. I was utterly captivated and left crying through the titles at the end.

I cannot praise Marvel enough for this film. I cannot praise the actors and the writers and the CGI people and the directors and everyone for this film. This film paid off in every single way possible. I loved every single second, even when I was crying my eyes out, even as I sit here now, in total and utter denial, I loved every single second.

This is the biggest film event of a lifetime, and the experience cannot be topped. If it is topped, it’ll be by Avengers 4 next year.

To say the least, though, Avengers 4 has a lot to answer, and a lot to live up to.

For now, though, Infinity War is a brilliant, fantastic, out of this world thrill ride of an emotional rollercoaster. A must see for every superhero fan. There will never be an event like this again, and it has to be seen to be believed.