A Light in the Darkness: A Review of Shadow and Bone

As my reading frenzy continues, I devoured yet another novel: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardvgo.

Final thoughts: Great story, weak ending.

I had the same problem with A Court of Thorns and Roses, I know there are second novels to come and unanswered questions but it ends in too much of a happy ending. Granted, you can’t really call the end of Shadow and Bone happy, but our main character prevailed and there is no immediate danger. I know this is just a personal preference, but at the end of the first novel there should be more problems than resolutions and more questions than answers. I have a very bittersweet relationship with cliffhanger endings, but I find I’m usually disappointed when they aren’t there.

Bradvgo does a good job of skirting that line between good and evil, but I wish the Darkling had a bit more of a human edge. I understand that it’s important to the story that he doesn’t and that the character itself has developed to be less humanly, but I think it would have been harder to dislike him, which would have made the read all the more thrilling.

My favourite character has to be Mal. No, not just because he has the same name as one of my all time favourite space captains, but he is the unwavering tree that you take shelter under during the storm. He seems like a real guy to me, which I don’t find very often in novels, as usually I find male characters the embodiment of what women expect, which is not even close to what they are. Mal, actually falters with his feelings, he’s slow to realize them and quick to act on his impulses. He’s actually a dude! He even develops like I expect a boy would in a circumstance like his. It’s safe to say I like Mal more than I like Alina.

I did really enjoy reading this novel. While, I didn’t order the next two novels just yet, you can rest accused that they are definitely on my to-buy list. If my other half has to keep his gaming purchases in check, it’s only fair I do the same with my book-buying obsession. But I digress…

Bardvgo has a great handle on character development and I find myself eager to find out how Alina develops further. Her handle on the psychological edge that Alina teetered along the whole book was spectacular. I do love it when main characters are damaged and have a fragile human core just like the rest of us…

(Cat interruptions – U////////////…..)
I love my furry baby, but she can’t keep her paws off my keyboard!

Excuse the interruption, I will now valiantly press on with the looming siege of kitty paw’s close at hand.

As I was saying, we all love when protagonists seem so bitterly human that we can relate, I mean that’s why we read don’t we? As Alina we want to feel less alone, no matter the amount of loneliness that holds it’s place within us.

This has evolved into more of review of the reader than the novel. Oops.

Anyhow, I do indeed recommend Shadow and Bone. It’s a good quick read. I look forward to seeing Alina’s progression, as well as Bardvgo’s.


Top of the Charts: A Review of A Court of Thorns and Roses

Literally, moments ago I read the last few pages of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and I’ve got to say, Maas has done it again. I’ve loved every single one of her Throne of Glass novels and now she’s got a new series I’m so excited about I pre-ordered the second book, A Court of Mist and Fury before I even finished reading the first book.

I’m sorry Snyder, just Maas has just beat you to the top of my favourites list.

A Court of Thorns and Roses seems to start off slow, building your understanding of the main character, Feyre. Also, I have to appreciate that within the first ten pages, Maas actually explains the pronunciation of Feyre so that I stupidly wasn’t reading it wrong through the whole book. It was very subtle and perfectly placed.

Some of the later plot points are kind of obvious and you can tell from which stories Maas has used these incidences, but we’re all guilty of that. I believe someone said there are only a finite amount of stories in the world and they’re all re-told in different ways.

Maas’ prose keep you captivated throughout the novel and her descriptive talents are intimidating to say the least. Rarely was I reading, but rather watching the story unfold in my mind’s eye.

The story flows very well, and while I sometimes struggled with the rather “quaint” intelligence of Feyre I really loved the novel. To be fair, her character is a minimally educated, young and impoverished girl so I can’t really blame her lack of knowledge on anything but her situation.

I highly recommend this to those looking for a great fantasy read. Especially if you’re into faerie lore. I absolutely devoured this book.

I don’t really recommended it to the guys though, despite some really great “steamy” scenes, this novel is really geared towards a female reader.

Ruby Sparks: Utterly Enchanting

So here I am, sitting at home on the Sunday night of the long weekend, not quite in the right mind set to write. So I go drifting around the recently added page on Netflix and I come across a movie called Ruby Sparks starring Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan. Not the most intriguing of titles by any means, but I lazily run my curser over the image to see what it’s about. The description reads:

To overcome his writer’s block and his romantic frustrations, a young novelist writes about his dream girl — and is stunned when she comes to life.

I generally love movies about writers and authors and all that. Of course, this is very cliched and stereotypical of me, but hey I’m not perfect. And writers, let’s be honest sometime it is our fondest wish that one of the characters we love that we’ve written would come to life and sweep us off our feet.

The movie filled my heart with joy and amazement, then decided to beat it up some and once it had finished smacking me around a little, torn my heart from my chest and shattered it into a million pieces. I absolutely hated the main character Calvin by the near end of things. But then, in the last five minutes of the movie Calvin redeemed himself and put my heart back together one tiny shard at a time.

This movie was phenomenal. I absolutely loved it. I highly recommend you watch it.

Oh Wes…

Only a few hours ago I saw the new Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom. Anderson hit another home run.

Moonrise Kingdom is a love story, the best love story I’ve seen portrayed in a while because it is an innocent love, and to me the purest kind. Anderson brought to life the feelings I’ve missed out on for quite some time, those feelings of first love.

Don’t worry, Anderson hasn’t gone soft on us. The characters are unique as you would expect and the star-studded cast makes the depressing adult world so perfect.

The love story is between two pre-teens, just barely coming into puberty. While all the adults portrayed in Moonrise Kingdom are, for lack of a better word, pathetic. There is no soul left in any of them, they’ve lost the whimsy that these kids see in life. This same whimsy is what Anderson does so well in expressing through his films.

I love that Anderson has original ideas that emphasize his strange and wonderful style rather than taking-away from it. Unlike Tim Burton, Anderson maintains both originality and his own style with his films.

Moonrise Kingdom may be my favourite Wes Anderson film yet, although The Royal Tenenbaums is certainly a tough one to beat. I throughly recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for a good chuckle, a smile, and just a little oddness.