Step into the magical world of the Noble Dead. Traitor to the Blood is the forth novel in the series by Barb and J.C. Hendee which follows the adventures of Magiere (a dhampir, half-human/half-vampire), Leesil (a half-human/half-elf), and their equally unique companions. In this story, former-assassin Leesil tries to track down his parents that he left behind years ago. Meanwhile, he and Magiere are trailed by her half-brother, Welstiel, who is trying to use Magiere for his own gain. They also face many foes: a ruthless overlord, a woman that Leesil orphaned set on revenge, a group of elven assassins, and a mysterious shape-shifting couple forced into servitude, just to name a few.
This installment delves deeper into each character, but especially Leesil since this book focuses on his tortured past and what has shaped him into the man he is. And each book in the series gets better with more character development, more complex storylines, more mythological lore, and more action. Any fan of vampire stories or the fantasy genre in general will love this series.
Traitor to the Blood was also the first in the series to make the jump to hardcover. Look for the next hardback installment, Rebel Fay, January of 2007.
Check out http://nobledead.com for excerpts from the books, more on the world of the Noble Dead.
Underworld: Evolution was a bit different from the first movie. This film was able to delve deeper into a more complex story. Whereas, the first Underworld had to introduce all the characters so the story couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be as deep.
I had my doubts as to how the second movie would hold up against something as new and fresh as the first one. But I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t disappointed. The action was even more intense, the scenes a little a more gory. The special effects were great (especially, on such a small budget), with bigger, badder monsters this time around. We get more of a back-story on the original vampire and werewolf. And we get to see Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and MichaelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s (Scott Speedman) relationship develop further. Though there wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a lot of talking in the movie other than SeleneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s narration, the acting was exceptional as well. Specifically, Marcus, played by Tony Curran, was a wonderfully, complex tortured-soul. I love when you can somewhat sympathize with the villains. It makes them much more believable than just soulless monsters.
This movie was quite a bit darker, but just as fun as the original.
I was able to see an advanced screening of Zathura last night. And I was surprised to say the least. Zathura was much better than I thought itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be. I was assuming itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be just a remake of Jumanji but for children. And while, of course, the game-coming-to-life aspect resembled Jumanji, there the similarities stopped. ZathuraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s story revolves more around two constantly-bickering brothers and their relationship with each other. The youngest, Danny, finds a game down in their creepy basement. And after his first turn, they find themselves in an outer space adventure. The boys must survive a meteor shower, a defective robot, evil aliens, and their own strained relationship, aided only by a stranded astronaut.
The story is very touching, with a couple fun twists thrown in. The movie was very action-packed and suspenseful, but even the Gorgons (the lizard-like aliens that attack them) are toned-down and almost muppet-like as to not scare younger children. This is definitely a movie for all ages. The only complaint I had were the few swear words that parents might need to talk to younger children about later. I saw a mother in front of me lean over to talk to her 6 year old girl after the youngest brother, Danny, swore at his older brother.
The two boys Jonah Bobo/Ã¢â‚¬ÂDannyÃ¢â‚¬Â and John Hutcherson/Ã¢â‚¬ÂWalterÃ¢â‚¬Â were amazing young actors and very convincing as brothers. And the supporting cast of Dax Shepard, Tim Robbins, and Kristin Stewart were great as well. Since the entire movie remained solely in and around the house, no other actors were even seen.
Zathura is a fun, science fiction, action, suspense, drama, comedy, family-friendly movie.