Showing posts with label angels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label angels. Show all posts

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

5 Spoopy Book-To-Film Adaptations For Halloween

Hello dearest nerdlets! Halloween is coming up (which, if you've spent 5 minutes on social media lately, you've probably noticed,) so I decided to give you a little list of 5 book-to-film adaptations in the Halloween-y spirit!










1. The Crow


The adaptation of James O'Barr's amazing graphic novel is a) violent and b) awesome. Not for kids, this is... rough... but is still, most definitely, worth the watch.

Brandon Lee played the title role of Eric Draven, and, infamously, was sadly killed on set by a freak set of circumstances which resulted in live ammo being used. He was amazing in this film.





Amazon: UK - US







2. Secret Window


This comes from a Stephen King short story/novella-type-thing called Secret Window, Secret Garden, and stars Johnny Depp.

Book nerds will especially love this one (yes guys, I know my audience dammit!) because it follows a writer, and deals with imagination, the power of stories, and characters/plot.

The denouement (fancy words!) is different in the short story - but, to be honest, I love both (but did find it ironic that a plot obsessed with story endings changed the ending of the story.)





Amazon: UK - US







3. Harry Potter (series)


Yes, this counts! There are witches and wizards and sh**!

And not everyone wants things to be too scary on Halloween - so, to them, I give the notion of a Harry Potter marathon. My gift to you. ;)





Amazon: UK - US







4. Interview With The Vampire


My friends, Lestat started my love affair with all things vamp, and to that I will always thank this film (which I saw before I read the book! Shocking! But I actually do that a lot.)

Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt playing two exceptionally sexy vampires - truly, what more could you want?

And yes, the queer aspects of the story are toned down - but there is no denying* the homoeroticism here. (Fans self.)

*although, someone I went to school with did think they were 'just being friendly' - because, y'know, we all stroke our friends' faces lovingly and breathe lustily in their faces every now and then. (Eye rolls.)





Amazon: UK - US








5. Constantine


The Bestie would kill me if this wasn't on the list.

Therefore I give in to the higher power that is my friend's wrath, and give you this comic-book-based tale of hell and damnation. Plus Keanu Reeves. #JobDone.

Oh, and I've actually reviewed this! (I really need to do more bookish film reviews... I just keep forgetting!) You can check out that review here.





Amazon: UK - US








Like this post? Try these:



Monday, 1 February 2016

The Month in Review(s) - January 2016

From now on I'm going to provide a brief 'Month in Review(s)' post.

This is literally a re-cap of all the reviews that I've written this month, collated in one post.

So now you can take a shufty at the books (and the odd film) that I've reviewed in the month, and catch up on any you may have missed.

Enjoy! :)

Kids

Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson - Historical Fiction

Young Adult

Dark Hope by Monica McGurkAngels, Paranormal.
The Invisibles by Francis Gideon - Romance (M/M), LGBTQ+.



Adult

Dead Ice by Laurell K Hamilton - Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Zombies, Vampires, Crime, LGBTQIAP+
Poetry From the Lady of the Pier by Effrosyni Moschoudi - Poetry, Short Stories, Chick Lit

Graphic Novels

STARVE Vol 1 - dystopian

Non-fiction

Death, Disability, and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond by Jose Alaniz

Popcorn Reviews (Film)

Batman (1989)
Constantine (2005)


I'll do a Charity Reading Challenge 2016 update when I've actually read something towards it. (Note to self: remember to read stuff for that challenge.)

Monday, 18 January 2016

Popcorn Review! - Constantine (2005)

ConstantineThe Film/ TV Adap: Constantine (2005.)

The Bookish Inspiration: The 'Hellblazer' graphic novels.

Main Cast: Keanu Reeves, Shia LaBeouf, Rachel Weisz, Tilda Swinton.

Director: Francis Lawrence.

BBFC Rating: 15.

Amazon: UK - USA.



Opening credits:

Perhaps unfairly, this film flies under most people's radars. Maybe that's appropriate - Hellblazer, and Constantine, has always appealed to a small cult audience, rather than being mainstream.

This is also my best friend's favourite film. So I've seen it more than once. Because we have to support each other's insanity, obviously.


Premise:

John Constantine is a demon-hunter and exorcist trying to avoid eternal damnation (as you do >.<).

Angie Dodson's sister is found dead. Is there more here than meets the eye?

Something's coming. Are they ready?


Best bits:

There's a louche gothic-ness here that wraps you in its intricacies. The horrors are harsh. Constantine is bitter: he smokes, drinks, and takes far too much cough medicine. And somehow you end up just loving it.

Keanu Reeves, taking the lead role, delivers what can only be described as an excellent performance. But it's Tilda Swinton's brief scenes (though you will love to hate her in this film,) that will stick with you; along, of course, with the fiery and rusted vision of hell.

The effects are great - though many will find them disturbing. And the whole thing has an awesome gritty feel to it that will please fans of horror films, as well as those who like things that are a little out of the box.


Not so great bits:

There's a lot of discussion of heaven and hell, demons, mental health, cancer, and suicide. I'm sure there will be a significant portion of people that aren't in the right place to be watching this film.

It also gets somewhat graphic in terms of violence and gore, with suicide scenes that could definitely shock many people.

Don't get the wrong impression - it's not gratuitous, but then, neither does it shy away from the physicality of the thing (hard to say any more than that without getting into dangerously spoilerific territory.)


Popcorn Worthy?

This is definitely worth breaking out the popcorn - great for evening viewing, but maybe not one to watch alone at 3am with the lights off. Unless you want to, of course, but I warned ya!


Buy Now UKBuy Now USA - IMDb



Liked this post? Try these:

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Review Time! - Dark Hope by Monica McGurk

Dark Hope book coverTitle: Dark Hope.

Author: Monica McGurk .

Genre: YA, Paranormal, Angels.

Series: Archangel Prophecies (#1.)

Amazon: UK - USA.

A few starting notes:

I received a free digital review copy of this book via NetGalley. NetGalley provides review copies from publishers in exchange for fair and honest reviews.
 
It's strange isn't it, just how many angel books are set in the Southern states of the USA? Still, this seemed interesting, so I decided to give it a shot.

Premise:

When Hope was a small child, she was abducted.
 
Miraculously unharmed, she was left with only a strange tattoo-like mark on her neck as a reminder of that day. Well, that and the effect the whole thing had on her parents of course.
 
Now little Hopie is a teenager - trying to forget about the past and forge a new life for herself in a new school.
 
But there are things that Hope doesn't realise - things which will drag her into a world of angels and Fallen Ones.

Best bits:

The focus on human trafficking involved here was not only bold, but also carefully handled. Nothing is explicit, the implications tell the tale for you.
 
Working with such a sensitive topic - and actually becoming involved in anti-trafficking work, as McGurk has done - is hugely admirable, and hopefully McGurk's work will help to make a difference.
 
I found the last third of this book the most readable and the most involving - this is the portion, at least as far as I'm concerned, where McGurk gains some confidence and begins to truly carry the reader along in the plot. Credit where credit is due, it's a good plot.
 
It's in this last portion of the book where Hope's parents really come to the fore. Parents? Being useful? Actually doing something? In YA fiction? I know! It was nicely refreshing, I have to say.

Not so great bits:

The religious stuff isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea - but then, it's an angel book, inclusion of religious-y things is almost a pre-requisite.
 
The violence, the implied sexual abuse, and the general topics of trafficking and abduction, as well as other, less prominent issues, may be distressing to some readers.
 
I did have some trouble really getting into this book - but that may just have been me, rather than the book.
 
What bugged me was the stupid decisions. McGurk used to write Twilight fanfiction, and seems to have borrowed a couple of Bella's stupid pills to give to Hope - stupid decisions, I'm telling you.
 
Luckily, this is fictional - but this is not a healthy way to conduct a relationship. Never let yourself be treated like this - please.

Verdict:

Fans of angel books will be happy with this offering. True, there are some problems, but it's competent and shows some promise; authors brave enough to take on sensitive topics in compassionate yet realistic ways are always worthy of praise.



Liked this post? Try these:
 
 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Reviewing the Evidence - Angelfall by Susan Ee

Title: Angelfall (US Link)
Author: Susan Ee
Genre: angel, paranormal, dystopian, YA
Series: Penryn and the End of Days (#1)

A few starting notes:


This is a young adult angel book that's also dystopian - I'm talking the apocalypse. Hold on tight, there are some things to say here.

Premise:

It's been six weeks since the angels returned to earth; the angels are not the friends of humanity. The angels are here to destroy everything.

Penryn Young is trying to help her family to safety. This is made more complicated when her sister, Paige, is kidnapped by angels. Penryn had to get her back. Add an injured angel to the mix, and you've got a whole lot of trouble.

Best bits:

This is original; the premise mixes the grit of dystopia with the otherworldly of angel books, creating something fresh. Written entirely in the present tense, the prose is sparse - something which I thoroughly applaud. Words are not wasted here, and I'm a big fan of short sentences with impact.

There is no insta-love - it's always awesome when relationships develop instead of erupt. In fact, despite the romantic subplot, I don't think the words 'I Love You' are ever spoken - another great point.

I'm also pleased that the author has attempted to add in some diversity of characters. True, I have some issues with the way both physical disability and mental illness are portrayed - which I'll discuss in the next section - but the very fact that Ms Ee has tried to include these characters in the book is a positive. I also love that the main character, Penryn, is a carer - complete with conflicting thoughts and self-sacrifice to a destructive level. Believe me when I say that there are not enough books that depict carers - let alone ones that paint a realistic picture. This does a half-decent job; and I know that Penryn's feelings and determination are very realistic for someone in her position.

Not so great bits:

I have some problems with the representation of physical disability and mental illness in this book. Paige, Penryn's little sister, is wheelchair bound; that is fine - what isn't fine is the pedestal Paige seems to inhabit. She's just not realistic; no seven year old girl is that saintly, serving only as an idealised damsel in distress for Penryn to rescue and feel responsible for. She needed to like, throw a tantrum, or laugh at the word 'booger,' or do something stupid for the hell of it. If someone is too good, they become unreal.

The portrayal of mental illness - Penryn's mother is a paranoid schizophrenic - is blunt at best. Penryn's mother is seen as little more than a liability - a potential danger to Penryn and Paige. She has very few moments of lucidity. Penryn (whose POV we are following here,) portrays her with a level of disdain that could do with some tempering. There just doesn't seem to be enough recognition of their mother as someone who has thoughts and feelings beyond the 'craziness' the plot calls for; and there's certainly not enough recognition that their mother is, in her own way, just as innocent as the saintly Paige.

This book gets gory. A lot. And a lot of people won't like that. There's also the aforementioned depictions of mental health. And there's a fair amount of stuff that wouldn't be out of place in a horror novel - including cannibalism. People of a religious persuasion may be offended by the part of the angels as cruel and arrogant creatures, many of whom have some pretty nasty things lurking in their pasts.

Verdict:

This is a page turner. There are some downsides, but over all this is fresh and thoroughly enjoyable.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Reviewing the Evidence Time! - Sweet Evil

Title: Sweet Evil (US Link)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Genre: paranormal, romance, ditzy, angels, ya
Series: The Sweet Trilogy (#1)

A few starting notes:


So, this was a random library haul selection - according to the blurb there were angels and much ditzy goings-on, according to the cover there was a freaking huge red dress and a bloke staring moodily over a girl's shoulder, so I decided to give it a shot.

Premise:

Anna Whitt is a girl from Georgia (the state, not the country,) who is a little quirky. She's the ultimate good-girl, a rule follower to a T. Except she also sees other people's emotions - and can remember being born...and the time before she was born. Inevitably, she meets a dude that's a little bit quirky like her - bad boy Kaidan Rowe - and everything turns into this whole angels/demons complicated thing.

Best bits:

Anna is actually likeable - something not to be sniffed at in YA paranormal romance. Sometimes she can be a little stupid - but she is 16, and does require plot-points to happen, so we can excuse her the slip-ups. Although I have to admit, I would've attempted to get in touch with my biological parents at about the point where my senses got hyper-charged - not several years later. She's worryingly un-curious about herself.

The whole angels and demons set-up is quite interesting, and managed to keep me reading - which is what you want really.

The whole book is entertaining and enjoyable, and I read it in a couple of days. It draws you on through the story, and doesn't require any deep levels of attention to enjoy.

Not so great bits:

Anna's modesty bugs me. I don't like her statement about dressing modest because she understands how difficult it is for teenage boys to deal with their hormones. Let them deal with them. Dress however the hell you want - it's for you, not them. Women should not have to consider what blokes think of their clothing - it doesn't matter.

There's a bunch of issues that are touched upon or referenced: abortion, drinking, drugs, adoption, suicide, lust, sin, rape, etc... Because it's angels and demons based there's a lot of pondering the nature of sin etc. etc. It's also religious in places (no big surprise,) which may not be to everyone's taste. I personally found the preoccupation with Anna's 'virtue' more than slightly annoying - particularly as for a book that's so prude-y in its attitude, it never seems to stop mentioning sex.

I also think the romance would've been better off more subtly nuanced and that demons weren't blamed for everything that could possibly go wrong, but that would be asking a bit much I suppose.

Verdict:

It's enjoyable, it's different - it does (occasionally) make you think. It's also an easy read for the train. I liked it - I may even consider reading something by this author again - but it's a take-it-or-leave-it kind of book.