Book Excerpt and Giveaway: The Brightest Fell

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Excerpt from The Brightest Fell:

one
October 9th, 2013
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell .—William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

THE FETCH IS ONE of the most feared and least understood figures in Faerie. Their appearance heralds the approach of inescapable death: once the Fetch shows up, there’s nothing that can be done. The mechanism that summons them has never been found, and they’ve always been rare, with only five conclusively identified in the last century. They appear for the supposedly significant—kings and queens, heroes and villains—and they wear the faces of the people they have come to escort into whatever awaits the fae beyond the borders of death. They are temporary, transitory, and terrifying.

My Fetch, who voluntarily goes by “May Daye,” because nothing says “I am a serious and terrible death omen” like having a pun for a name, showed up more than three years ago. She was supposed to foretell my impending doom. Instead, all she managed to foretell was me getting a new roommate. Life can be funny that way.

Continue reading Book Excerpt and Giveaway: The Brightest Fell

Blu-Ray Review Copy: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Synopsis:
When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur’s uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy…whether he likes it or not.

Review:
The film opens to an exciting battle where Mordred is attacking Camelot with giant elephants the size of a small mountain. But Uther (Arthur’s father – played by Eric Bana) defends his kingdom with the legendary Excalibur. But when Uther’s own brother betrays him, Arthur must flee.

There are some humorous montages of Arthur growing up and battles along the way to retake Camelot that director Guy Ritchie is known for – rock music paired with scenes on fast-forward. It’s a bit too cheesy for a film set in the middle ages. I really wanted to like this film. But the story has just been done so many times. The story was nothing new and wasn’t memorable at all. It’s too bad because the cast was fantastic. But nothing can save an uninspired script with a story we have heard in many, MANY different ways.

Special Features Include:
– Arthur with Swagger
– Sword from the Stone
– Parry and Bleed
– Building on the Past
– Inside the Cut: The Action of King Arthur
– Camelot in 93 Days
– Legend of Exalibur
– Scenic Scotland

SciFi Book Review: Replica

Replica by Lauren Oliver

Synopsis:
Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.

Review:
Lyra and a fellow clone escape their facility only to learn horrifying truths about their pasts. Gemma helps Lyra and 24 escape, and finds herself in the middle of more danger than she could imagine.

Replica is a unique and fascinating story told from two different characters’ points of view. It’s the first in a YA scifi duology. It’s a flip book, as one side of the book is Lyra’s story, and you flip the book over to start reading Gemma’s which ends in the middle of the book. The pacing is steady and flows well – even when we switch to Gemma’s side, it doesn’t get repetitive. Full of suspense, intrigue, drama, and a bit of romance – this is an exciting thriller that I won’t soon forget.

Fantasy Book Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Wonder Woman: Warbringer
by Leigh Bardugo

Synopsis:
Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Review:
I’m a huge Wonder Woman fan (comics, books, tv, movies, you name it), so I really wanted to like this book. I saw that it was a story set before Diana becomes Wonder Woman. And while the story of a girl coming to the island and Diana leaving and seeing the world of man, completely disregards all Wonder Woman origin stories – I still tried to put that aside to enjoy this story. However, it’s just a slow-paced, dull plot that only really picks up at the end climactic scene. The characters weren’t really likable. And while Diana stays true to character for the most part, she attends a silly party instead of hurrying to get Alia (and the world) to safety. That’s right. The world is in mortal jeopardy, and they attend a gala – and even worry about gowns. It’s ridiculous. And disappointing. There are some fun fight scenes where Diana kicks butt. And I enjoyed her subplot coming-of-age story back home, but it wasn’t enough to save the book for me.

Blu-Ray Review: The Circle



The Circle Blu-Ray Edition

Synopsis:
When Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world’s largest and most powerful tech and social media company, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company’s founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics, and ultimately, her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family, and all of humanity.

Review:
Imagine a Big Brother tv show out in the real world, and that’s what Mae subjects herself to. Zero privacy and interacting with her viewers every waking moment. I can’t imagine it being entertaining with no scripting, but it re-iterates the point of the movie of losing privacy for security. When tragedy strikes, Mae is forced to reevaluate her view on total transparency.

I didn’t have any expectations before watching The Circle. I hadn’t seen any positive reviews, but the cast was great and it seemed like something I’d enjoy. The acting was fantastic. It was bittersweet to see Bill Paxton in his last role. When Mae first goes to work at the Circle, it’s very reminiscent of what working at Google mixed with Apple must be. However, it suddenly takes a weird turn when she realizes she’s expected to interact with her colleagues to the point of not having a life outside of work. The mood is creepy and tense throughout. There is a predictable climactic scene, followed by Mae’s epiphany. But the ending falls flat with the push back against “total transparency.” A lot of build up with little resolution. I really wanted to like this one, but it feels like something I’ve already seen before. It’s not a bad film, just a little disappointing.

BLU-RAY / DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:
• “No More Secrets: Completing The Circle — A Four-Part Series” Featurette
• “The Future Won’t Wait: Design and Technology” Featurette
• “A True Original: Remembering Bill Paxton” Featurette

Get The Yondu Look – Tribute Event in West Hollywood

Any Guardians fans in SoCal? Here’s an awesome upcoming opportunity!

LONG LIVE YONDU!

[From Press Release:] In loving memory of everyone’s favorite Ravager, come celebrate the Blu-ray™ release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with Yondu himself – Michael Rooker!

On Tuesday, August 22nd from 9:00am-12:00pm, fans around Los Angeles will be able to come pay tribute to the beloved Ravager, Yondu, with a morning of prizes and activities at Shorty’s Barber Shop in West Hollywood!

Michael Rooker (‘Yondu’ in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) will be on location to commemorate his character and interact with fans!

Activities Include:
– The first 50 fans will receive a $50 gift certificate to Shorty’s Barber Shop to come back and Get the Yondu Look.
– Additional giveaways will include Blu-ray Combo Packs and Digital Copies of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, posters signed by Michael Rooker and other Guardians themed items.
– Themed photo opportunity
– Get the Yondu Look by getting your hair styled into a faux hawk and hair sprayed red.

For those of you hardcore enough to go FULL YONDU*, there will be room for ten lucky Ravagers to get a full hair dye and shave. Those that pledge their loyalty to the captain will not only meet Rooker himself, but will head out with various Guardians loot!

But wait! There’s more, y’all! Two lucky fans will also walk out of Shorty’s with an awesome custom-made Yondu umbrella to keep that new ‘do safe from the LA sun!

* If you volunteer to be one of the 10 fans to get the Full Yondu you will need to be over 18 years of age, be available to get your hair dyed on Monday, August 21st, and shaved or styled from 9:00AM-12:00PM on Tuesday, August 22nd.

To schedule for the Full Yondu, please e-mail your name and mobile number to gettheyondulook@gmail.com.

All colors and cuts will take place at Shorty’s Barber Shop.

Shorty’s Barber Shop
755 N Fairfax Ave
West Hollywood, CA
90046

MARVEL STUDIOS’ “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2”
Now Available Digitally and Blu-ray on Aug. 22

SciFi Book Review: Pawn

Pawn by Timothy Zahn

Synopsis:
Nicole Lee’s life is going nowhere. No family, no money, and stuck in a relationship with a thug named Bungie. But, after one of Bungie’s “deals” goes south, he and Nicole are whisked away by a mysterious moth-like humanoid to a strange ship called the Fyrantha.

Once aboard, life on the ship seems too good to be true. All she has to do is work on one of the ship’s many maintenance crews. However, she learned long ago that nothing comes without a catch. When she’s told to keep quiet and stop asking questions, she knows she is on to something.

Nicole soon discovers that many different factions are vying for control of the Fyrantha, and she and her friends are merely pawns in a game beyond their control. But, she is tired of being used, and now Nicole is going to fight.

Review:
Nicole is a down and out, and pretty much given up when she’s suddenly abducted by aliens. She and other humans are used to work as laborers aboard the spaceship. And as it turns out, Nicole has a special gift that makes her especially valuable to her abductors. She is able to communicate with the ship – as it tells her specifically what the work crews need to fix. But Nicole stumbles upon another section of the ship that will push her to do more.

Pawn is the first in a new, original scifi series. The story wasn’t quite what I expected. The majority of the story takes place entirely on the ship, as Nicole uncovers a mystery. It’s well-paced, and full of drama and suspense. Fyrantha is an intriguing ship, and I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface in this first installment. Zahn has created another engaging universe of diverse aliens and complex characters. I look forward to the next in this promising series.

Box Giveaway: ThinkGeek Capsule

ThinkGeek Capsule

Courtesy of ThinkGeek, I have an extra July THINKGEEK CAPSULE with a tshirt in Junior’s Medium for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends August 18. I’ll draw a name on August 19, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Box Giveaway: ThinkGeek Capsule

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