The Language of Thorns (No-Spoiler) Review

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“Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.”

I don’t even know where to begin with this dark and enchanting little book. ❤ Collecting six different tales taking place in the mysterious world of the Grisha, it’s a great read for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology and/or her original Grisha Trilogy. Even if you haven’t read Bardugo’s other works and simply enjoy dark fairy tales and folklore, this book is for you.

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I swear, Bardugo’s books just keep getting prettier and prettier. Each page of this book features an ever-expanding illustrated border with lovely artwork relating to the story at hand. As the tale progresses, the border reveals more and more clues relating to it, and each tale is followed with a beautiful two-page illustration to wrap things up. So no peeking at those pictures before you read the actual story, guys! 😉

If you’ve read your fair share of folklore, myth and fairytales, you’ll no doubt pick up on the many inspirations for the stories contained in this book. With several nods toward Greek myth, fairy tales of the Grimm, Anderson, and Perrault variety, along with a hint of Aesop’s fables, you’re bound to feel some sort of nostalgia while reading. I know I sure did. 🙂

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Another nice point in this collection of stories is the diversity, along with the many strong female characters. Bardugo manages to create a variety of characters and tell compelling stories with each of her tales, despite some of them only being about 50 pages, give or take.

Fun Fact: For those of you who have read Bardugo’s other works, you mayyyy just pick up on a certain character in one of the stories that we’ve seen before. I’m not gonna say anything specific here because spoilers, but I see what you did there, Leigh Bardugo. 😉

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The six tales included in The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic are as follows:

Ayama and the Thorn Wood

The Too-Clever Fox

The Witch of Duva

Little Knife

The Soldier Prince

When Water Sang Fire

I really enjoyed reading each of the tales along with their accompanying artwork. Bardugo’s writing shines as she lends her voice to such a classic form of story telling all while putting her own fresh spin on things.

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Wytches, Vol. 1 (No-Spoiler) Review

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Happy October, everybody!! ❤ This is my favorite time of the year, so expect plenty of horror and Halloween related posts this month. To kick things off, I figured we’d start with a review of the first volume of Wytches. I’d heard some really good things about this comic and it did not let me down. In fact, it wound up being even cooler than I expected, with some really interesting twists on the conventional “witches” of some of our darker fairy tales of old.

The way this story beautifully unfolds the further you get into it kind of makes it hard to gush about without spoiling anything, but I’ll do my best. Although this is definitely a gritty horror story, the heart of it revolves around family, specifically the bond between a father and his daughter. It’s great because it doesn’t try to present a “perfect family”, but rather one with flaws but where there is genuine love. They definitely have their ups and downs. It made the characters and the world they live in feel more genuine, despite the supernatural hellish nightmare going on all around them.

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This is, in my opinion, a really creative spin on witches (or “wytches” as they are called in the story) and witch hunting. It isn’t just a “burn the witch!” sort of thing, with the story even addressing some of the all-too-real witch hysteria that plagued our own history. The way these ancient wytches have managed to survive all these years was pretty interesting, too. You can tell Scott Snyder put a lot of thought into this when coming up with and writing the story. I want so badly to go into all the little details that I enjoyed, but I feel it’s better for people to learn them as they go along. I’m just a sucker for all those cool little tidbits authors come up with when worldbuilding.

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All in all, volume 1 was a great introduction to the story and I really wish there was already a volume 2 out so I could read that as well. This was a solid horror comic and one I look forward to reading more of one day. 🙂

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Looking forward to sharing lots of horror/Halloween posts with you guys this month, and talking about tons of beasties and things that go bump in the night! 😀

Kimmie66 (No-Spoiler) Graphic Novel Review

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This was one of those reads I went into headfirst, knowing nothing about other than that I enjoyed the work of the creator, Aaron Alexovich. Finding this little graphic novel at the library, I saw that it was written and illustrated by him and that was enough for me, having previously enjoyed his other works like Serenity Rose and Confessions of a Blabbermouth.

Kimmie66 turned out to be a sort of science fiction mystery set in a 23rd century future where people spend more time living their virtual reality lives than their own physical ones. It’s a place where your very best friends might just be people you’ve never even met in real life, and who live lives you know nothing about.

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The story follows a teenage girl named Telly after she receives a suicide note from her best friend, the titular Kimmie66. But things get weird quickly as Kimmie66 continues showing up all over the various virtual reality “lairs” after her supposed death. Telly doesn’t know what’s going on at this point and is wondering if it’s all some sick prank or if she has an actual ghost story of sorts on her hands. Setting out to discover the truth, Telly gets help along the way from her slob of a brother, a mysterious hustler hacker, and her and Kimmie’s other loud-mouthed friend from their own VR lair.

Kimmie66 was a quick and entertaining read, and featured the spooky/cute black & white art that I’ve enjoyed in Alexovich’s other works. My only change I wish could be made would be for this story to be longer so it could have gotten into things a little deeper because it was all really interesting and left me wanting to know more about certain characters and whatnot. It was a good read though and makes me want to look into checking out more of Alexovich’s work again soon. 🙂

 

It (2017) No-Spoiler Review

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Hey, guys! ❤ As promised, here is my post regarding the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Please Note: There won’t be any spoilers, so any pics or gifs I post here will have already been released in the various trailers/ads. That said, let’s begin! *Cue the creepy clown music.*

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Adaptations, reboots, remakes, etc can be really dividing when put to film. Especially ones concerning something like It, which traumatized so many people, either through the original novel, or Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise the Dancing Clown in the 1990 TV mini-series. This left some pretty big shoes to fill for the new film adaptation just recently released. (“Big shoes”, get it? Because clown shoes are big. No? Okay, then, I’ll just excuse myself and take my leave.)

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Anywayyyy, getting back on track. (It’s early and I am not properly caffeinated, so please bear with me.) I really enjoyed this movie, and it surprised me in a few ways. A major surprising factor for me was just how damn funny it was. The kids that make up the legendary “Losers’ Club” were great. I was really impressed by how well all the child actors did. How many times do we see kids cast in movies who fit the bill of the adorable child, but just really can’t act? That is not a problem in this movie. Far from it, actually. Each of the young actors has talent and range that allows them to flow easily between humor and terror and back again throughout the story. Excellent casting, in my opinion. Each of the “losers” has believable chemistry with one another, and their friendship really does add to the enjoyment of this film in a major way.

Movie-Cast-2017-1024x549 And while speaking of acting, we of course cannot forget the central antagonist of the story, Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgård. First of all, I was really happy that he and the creators of the movie chose not to try duplicating the feel of Tim Curry’s performance in the 1990 version. They went off in a different direction with the look and feel of the character, and I think that was smart. Otherwise, everyone would have just been non-stop comparing the two, and forgetting that these projects are completely separate entities revolving around the same original story. Of course they are going to be different. But when someone like Curry manages to traumatize an entire generation with his portrayal, it can be difficult for people to not expect the same of the next person to don the clown makeup.

Bill Skarsgård, I feel, did a great job with the character. As I mentioned before, I’m not particularly scared of clowns, but I really loved what he did throughout the film as Pennywise. He was interesting to watch, and the guy has a natural calling to the horror genre, as seen in this and Hemlock Grove. Plus, I love that he is an actor that chooses not to just get by on his “pretty boy” looks, which is always a plus in my book. 🙂 Go for those weird and/or challenging roles! That is what makes an actor memorable in my humble opinion.

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Bill Skarsgård pre-clown makeup and the blood and tears of children.

The movie was fun to watch, and never dull or dragging. It’s more like a coming-of-age story with horror splattered in for good measure than a straight-up horror movie, and honestly, I think it made the movie all the better. And this is coming from someone who loves horror. It’s a good one to see in the theater if you can, and definitely worth watching.

 

 

 

Giant Days, Vol. 2 (No-Spoiler) Review

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I’m a wee bit behind writing up my review for this because of the recent business with work and whatnot, but here we go!! Better late than never, right? 😉 So, a while back I read and reviewed volume 1 of Giant Days. (To sum it up: I loved it!) ❤

A few weeks ago my boyfriend got me volume 2 and I was excited to read more of the shenanigans of the characters I came to love in the first volume. This series is cute and fun, with fantastic characters. Volume 2 picks up right where Volume 1 left off, with new-but-great friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy banding together to get through the madness that is their first semester at university. We’ve got dances, relationships, hometown rivalries and antics, and other hijinks abound in this volume.

gd2 It was a fun read, but I will admit that overall, I did like volume 1 a little bit more, but I still enjoyed volume 2 and will definitely continue reading the adventures of Daisy, Esther, and Susan. Curious to see if many other people felt how I did on the matter I went ahead and read several other reviews regarding volume 2 and it seems pretty split down the middle: either people enjoyed volume 1 a little bit more, but still liked this one as well OR they preferred volume 2 because they’d already gotten to know the characters in volume 1 and now felt more connected to them going into this volume.

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There’s also an artist change part way through this volume. The artist change isn’t bad or anything, but I did miss some things about the first artist’s (Lissa Treiman) style. Mostly their bold lines. The new artist (Max Sarin) did a good job though not making it too jarring by matching up pretty well how the character’s looked and everything, while still adding their own flair. (And we still get Whitney Cogar’s awesome colorist skills this go around.)

Overall, Giant Days is a fun series about three girls with a great friendship. John Allison has written them realistically from the very beginning, with flaws and strengths, distinct personalities and interests, and their own insecurities and hangups.

What are you reading at the moment? Anything good? Anything horrid? Anything just “meh”? Let’s talk about it! 😀 I always love to hear what you guys are reading, too.

Rev Your Engines for the Blood Drive!

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Is anyone else watching the amazingly chaotic gore-fest that is Syfy’s Blood Drive? I’ve been tuning in since it premiered in June and I’m absolutely loving it! Granted, I do love me some B-Horror goodness, so I may be biased. 😉 (This show certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, so you’ve been warned). Blood Drive knows its audience, and it caters to them with all the classic horror tropes (as well as plenty of new messed up antics all their own)  and all the buckets of fake blood one could ask for.

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The show mainly follows Arthur Bailey (a good cop in a bad situation) and Grace d’Argento (a ruthless racer who will do whatever it takes to save her sister). The world is a dystopian cesspool of homicidal maniacs, cars that fuel up on human blood, diabolical corporations, and countless horrors around each and every corner. Don’t believe me? Check the trailer out for yourself! 😀

Blood Drive is just so damn fun. Even the “bad guys” are highly entertaining. I use quotes for the bad guys part because in this show, just about everyone is forced to push the limits into “bad guy” territory from time to time. The theatrical ringleader of the mayhem going on in the Blood Drive races, Julian Slink is just the kind of villain I love to watch. He’s a wicked bastard through and through, but he’s so over the top and twisted that it’s just really, really fun to watch.

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You can tell when you watch this show that it must really be a labor of love. The creators of the series go the extra mile with fake commercials within the show, old school horror style promos for each week’s coming episode, and they even have a complaint hotline for those who are offended by all the gore/language/sexual content/etc. within the series. With the phone number including “D.G.A.F.” as part of its number, one has to commend them on their massive levels of sass. 😛

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All in all, Blood Drive should prove a great time for horror fans. I know I certainly enjoy it. Season 1 is set to air 13 episodes in total, with episode 6 airing later this week. It’s a great blend of inappropriate humor and horror, so be sure to check it out if those things are what you’re into! 😛

Wonder Woman (No-Spoiler Review)

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“You fight like a girl” is an all-too-often-hurled insult in school yards, but Wonder Woman is a classic icon of female empowerment, busting through these sorts of stereotypes and taking names. I’ve been excited to see the new WW film since the first trailer came out and it instantly gave me chills. After the long wait, the film finally hit theaters yesterday.  I was beyond excited when, by some lovely twist of fate, my boyfriend got out of work early on Friday, allowing us to visit the theater midday before the crowds came flooding in.

First thing’s first, I love Gal Gadot in this role. She nailed her performance in my opinion. Everything from Diana first being exposed to “polite society” in London after being raised and trained among only Amazons, to her refusing to back down from what she believes in and not being afraid to get into the thick of things in order to do so. She did a great job, and was someone you want to root for and believe in.

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This movie is Diana’s origin story, before the world would come to know her as Wonder Woman. The events unfold under the backdrop of WW1, in war-torn Europe. Having grown up in the Amazonian paradise that is Themyscira, Diana has no idea of the ugly reality of war she is stepping into when she decides to go into battle.

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I really enjoyed Chris Pine as Steve Trevor and what they did with his character throughout the movie. Even though the movie is called ‘Wonder Woman’ he doesn’t fall into some lame sidekick role with no ambitions of his own. All the actors did a good job in my opinion.

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I don’t want to go into too many more details because it’s more fun to just go see the movie for yourself. 😉 I thought the film was really good, though, and I’m hoping to see more like this from DC with their upcoming films. *cough cough and maybe a Batwoman movie would be nice, too. cough cough* Just sayin’.