?

Log in

knight in shining leather

X

not spoiler free. feel free to add but please leave me a note.
my personal writing comm → // chokingonpetals //
links → // fanfiction // tumblr // dreamwidth // youtube // livejournal // 8tracks //
important posts → // kitties // fanfiction masterpost // book scrapbook //
// 8tracks listings // otps/brotps // tropes //



Just me, a fast ship, and a fair galaxy.Collapse )
 
 
traveling to: Sherwood Forest
feeling: ecstaticecstatic
calliope tune: "Forever"-Rex Smith
 
 
knight in shining leather
22 August 2030 @ 02:06 pm
TV seasons to watch/finish watching

Bronco s2&3&4
ER s14&15
The Originals s3
Angel s1&2&3&4&5
Bones s2&3&4&5&6&7&8&9&10&11
Buffy the Vampire Slayer s1&2&3&4&5&6&7
Lawman s2&3&4
Zane Grey Theatre s4&5
T.J. Hooker s4
Little Men s1&2
Bourbon Street Beat s1
Lancer s1&2
Surfside 6 s1&2
The High Chaparral s1&2&3&4
The Ponderosa s1
The Second Hundred Years s1

Miniseries & Films

Union Bound

Upcoming TV I want to try/watch

Westworld - premieres - October 2
Timeless - premieres - October 3
Scorpion - s3 - October 3
The Flash - s3 - October 4
No Tomorrow - premieres - October 4
Frequency - premieres - October 5
Supernatural - s12 - October 13
Legends of Tomorrow - s2 - October 13
Salem - s3 - November 2
The Originals - s4 -
Humans - s2 -
Emerald City - premieres -
Teen Wolf - s6 -
Tangled - premieres - 2017
Drew - premieres -
Outsiders - s2 - January
IZombie - s3 -
Reign - s4 -
When Calls the Heart - s4 -
The Shannara Chronicles - s2 -
Sleepy Hollow - s4 -
Outlander - s3&4 -
Anne - premieres -
Powerless - premieres -
Still Star-Crossed - premieres -
Time After Time - premieres -
Midnight Texas - premieres -
Knightfall - premieres -
The Frankenstein Chronicles - s2 -
12 Monkeys - s3 -
Legion - premieres -
Daredevil - s3 -
Iron Fist - s1 -
Turn - s4 -
Zoo - s3 -

Upcoming Films & Miniseries I want to try

Lewis and Clark
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Man At Arms
A Gown Of Spanish Lace
Gambit
Wreck It Ralph 2
How To Train Your Dragon 3
Oz the Great and Powerful 2
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
The Croods 2
Sherlock Holmes 3
Thor 3
World War Z 2
Beauty and the Beast
Pinocchio
Prince Charming
The Sword In the Stone
Genies
Gigantic
Maleficent 2
Star Trek 4
Robin Hood: Origins
Pirates of the Caribbean 5
Descendants 2
The Avengers: Infinity War part 1
The Avengers: Infinity War part 2
The Legend Of William Tell
Hansel and Gretel: Death's Messengers
Dragonheart 4
War for the Planet of the Apes
Kong: Skull Island
The Death Cure
The Little Mermaid
A Court of Thorns and Roses
The Light Between Oceans
Rose Red
Voice From the Stone
Doctor Strange
Mary Poppins 2
Tinker Bell
Tulip Fever
Black Widow
Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors
Assassin's Creed
Mary Poppins Returns
Bitter Harvest
Pacific Rim 2
Despicable Me 3
Moana
Wolverine 3
The Greatest Showman on Earth
Now You See Me 3
Swallows & Amazons
Dunkirk
Charlotte
A Storm in the Stars
Gifted
Deadpool 2
New Mutants
Devil in the White City
Ballerina
Justice League
Wonder Woman
The Mummy
Hacksaw Ridge
Arrival
The Silver Chair
The Promise
Passengers


X
 
 
feeling: lonelylonely
calliope tune: "Red Rubber Ball"-Cyrkle
 
 
knight in shining leather
I enjoyed Princess of Thorns so much that I bumped up Of Beast and Beauty to next on my list. And while I didn't love it quite as much, it was still a wonderful re-telling of Beauty and the Beast.



Summary on the back: In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds. Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe. As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

My thoughts: I fell in love with Stacey Jay's writing style in the last book, and Of Beast and Beauty definitely didn't disappoint. Both Gem and Isla were flawed, but likeable protagonists, and Needle was a lovely side character. While I wish the background characters and world were slightly more fleshed out, I loved the unique richness of the world which had the feel of a fantasy land crossed with dystopian over-tones. I adored the re-imagining of the enchanted rose into a garden of blood-fed roses, and the entire concept of the story was extremely creative and imaginative. I loved Needle and Isra's relationship, and, while I wasn't 100% behind Isra and Gem's romance, I did appreciate that it wasn't instantaneous, my main problem with so many YA books. I also liked that, despite the dark tones, the story never felt gruesome or gritty, retaining the fairytale feel. Despite the completely changed world, the story still kept the elements of Beauty and the Beast - there were times when I realized what something was surprised to be (and did a little "Ah!" at the cleverness of the way it was re-imagined).

There were a few things I found awkward - especially Gem's son, who seems to be everything to him at the start, and presumably an important part of the story, only for him to die, and be barely mentioned by his father by the end; the baby's mother served no point whatsoever, and the rest of Gem's family seemed a loss of potential. But ultimately the fast pace and beautiful descriptions made me a fan of the book.


X
 
 
feeling: dorkydorky
calliope tune: "I'm Telling You Now"-Freddie & the Dreamers
 
 
knight in shining leather
Next on my reading list was Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay, a retelling of various fairytales (yes, I'm attempting to read my way through every retelling there is). And after quite a few dark and disappointing books, it was a complete delight.



X

Summary on the back: Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago. Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

My thoughts: While initially a sequel of sorts to Sleeping Beauty, Princess Of Thorns ends up being more a retelling of The Wild Swans, which was a pleasant surprise. It's a fusion that works quite well, and the fast pace and entertaining writing style hooked me from the beginning and never let go. Aurora and Niklaas spent much of the first part of the book as friends, and when the relationship turns romantic, it's much more believable than most YA fiction I've read. Aurora was also a refreshing protagonist, both courageous - she saves both her brother and Niklaas - and likeable. And Niklaas, although a bit selfish at first, grew on me throughout the book, making it easy to root for the two to get a happy ending. I loved their banter, and the "drunk" scene was hilarious. Also I adored how Niklaas doesn't overreact when he finds out she's a girl - and still has just as much, if not more admiration for her.

I loved the world-building, even though I wanted more of it - I needed more fairies and ogres! - and the lighter, more magical feel of the story. A lot of re-tellings aim for a much darker, complex world, so it was a joy to find a story stripped back to the fairytale roots, where magic simply is, and happily ever after is unquestionably on the last page. It was also a complete treat to read a book so utterly lacking in the common YA tropes of insta-love, love triangles, and annoyingly prickly heroines.

Overall, Princess of Thorns was a delight, a brisk and thoroughly entertaining story.


X
 
 
feeling: chipperchipper
calliope tune: "Everyday"-Buddy Holly
 
 
knight in shining leather
I've been waiting to read Cinder by Marissa Meyer for quite some time as so many people have mentioned it. And it finally came into the library this week.



X

Summary on the back: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.

My thoughts: I really loved the concept of Cinder, with it's futuristic setting a delightfully unique concept for a fairytale retelling. Despite my initial skepticism, the story of Cinderella worked surprisingly well within the world, and I liked the little quotes of the original story between each part. I also greatly enjoyed that it was China - I'm eager for more Asian heroines/heroes in fiction - as opposed to a fantasy land. I found the political intrigue a bit overwhelming, the twists predictable, and the romance rushed, but I was intrigued by the plague and the entire concept of the cyborgs - in fact I would have happily spent the whole book focused on that with the other elements excluded!

Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed by the world-building. I wanted more explanations, more descriptions of the world surrounding the characters. While the medical and technology aspects of the storyline were very rich and detailed, everything else was quite lacking, making it difficult to slip into the entire world, and the unevenness of the writing style was a bit jarring. The Lunar concept was strangely unnecessary and seemingly dropped out of nowhere. As much as I appreciated the offbeat feel of the characters, I had a hard time bonding with them, particularly Cinder and Kai, who I found somewhat unlikable and flat. The joyless tone of the plot made it a bit difficult to wade through to the end, and I found myself wishing for a bit of fairytale magic to cheer things up. I was left with mixed emotions - impressed by the concept, but disappointed by the way it was presented. But I did adore the sci-fi, rather than fantasy, tone, and would love to see more fairytale re-imaginings lean that direction.

Ultimately, I found Cinder to be a highly creative and unusual re-imaging of Cinderella that fell flat for me in terms of plot and characterization.


X
 
 
feeling: discontentdiscontent
calliope tune: "Indiana Wants Me"-R Dean Taylor
 
 
 
 
knight in shining leather
Next on my reading list was Winter's Child by Cameron Dokey, a re-telling of my other favorite fairytale, The Snow Queen.



Summary on the back: Free-spirited Grace and serious Kai are the best of friends. They grew up together listening to magical tales spun by Kai's grandmother and sharing in each other's secrets. But when they turn sixteen and Kai declares his love for Grace, everything changes. Grace yearns for freedom and slowly begins to push Kai - and their friendship - away.

My thoughts: Winter's Child was a mix of good and bad to me, with a few frustrating elements mingled with a lot of really wonderful ideas. I adored the tone of the story, which, more than any other re-telling I've read so far, captured that warm fairytale feel - childish in the best way, creative while still being familiar, with everything tied up neatly into a happily ever after at the end. There were some lovely quotes and descriptions, and I enjoyed Kai and Gerda's childhood friendship. And I absolutely loved the depth and origin story for the Snow Queen, who isn't a villain in this story, at all, as well as the sweetness of the story, a refreshing change from the usual dark variations on classic tales.

Unfortunately, the book was quite short, which means some elements didn't get explored as much as I would have liked, and, most frustratingly, the romances are incredibly rushed, with one of them seemingly out of left field at the last moment. I was also sad to see so little of Grace's journey. While I liked the Snow Queen getting a happy ending, I wasn't fond at all of her ending up with Kai (Kai/Gerda was my first and is still my dearest fairytale ship and the concept just sort of irked me, even if the Snow Queen is an entirely different character, and never actually kidnaps him in this version). My final opinion of the book would have been much higher if the romance storyline had followed the original tale.

Overall, Winter's Child was a breezy, often enjoyable, although imperfect re-imagining that leaves me hopeful for more faithful re-tellings of The Snow Queen in the future.


X
 
 
feeling: cheerfulcheerful
calliope tune: "She Blinded Me With Science"-Thomas Dolby
 
 
knight in shining leather
20 August 2016 @ 05:46 pm
I was told about One by Sarah Crossan by swordznsorcery (thank you!). I was able to get my hands on it right away and couldn't put it down.



X

Summary on the back: Grace and Tippi. Tippi and Grace. Two sisters. Two hearts. Two dreams. Two lives. But one body. Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins, joined at the waist, defying the odds of survival for sixteen years. They share everything, and they are everything to each other. They would never imagine being apart. For them, that would be the real tragedy. But something is happening to them. Something they hoped would never happen. And Grace doesn’t want to admit it. Not even to Tippi. How long can they hide from the truth — how long before they must face the most impossible choice of their lives?

My thoughts: Where do I start? I loved this book so very much. While it's loose poetry took a few chapters for me to get used to, I was sucked into the story so quickly it never really bothered me. And whatever genre you'd call this, seems to be my absolute favorite. I related a lot to Grace's loneliness and uncertainty, everything about her character, actually, so I got very caught up in the story. There were some beautiful, very moving lines, and I loved the uniqueness of the plot and realism of Grace's voice within each short scene. All the characters, even the background ones, felt alive, flawed, and very easy to imagine as real people, and it was such a delight to see some many characters living with disorders, chronic medical conditions, or alcoholism. The author has quite the gift in creating believable characters, and I adore that she never sensationalized her subject matter or themes, but handled them with both respect and poignancy (I also admire the research that went into doing so!).

I suspected quite early where the plot was heading, but I still ended up crying over the heart-breaking twist, and left with an even deeper point of understanding regarding the ethical implications of conjoined twins living joined or separate. If I had any complaints whatsoever about this book is that I would have loved for it to be just a bit longer, as I didn't want it to end right where it did. But, ultimately, One was a gorgeous, deeply moving story, and I hope to find more books like it in the future.


X
 
 
feeling: touchedtouched
calliope tune: "Sukiyaki"-Kyu Sakamoto
 
 
knight in shining leather
My latest reading took me into Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama, a dark and very unique re-telling of The Little Mermaid.


X

Summary on the back: Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect...or a curse? With Ezra's help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean — but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

My thoughts: I adored this book. It had everything I've been craving from a fairytale re-telling - a much more adult, and richly detailed re-imaging of the story that created a fascinating new plot while still retaining enough to be recognizable. The fusion of tragic horror and poignant love story was balanced perfectly, and while the story crammed in a dizzying amount of elements, it never felt over-stuffed. The book hit so many of my tropes too - beautiful descriptions, historical fantasy, star-crossed lovers, and a bittersweet ending. While I was much more invested in Syrenka's story - mostly because I didn't care for Hester as much as a character - I did enjoy how well the two halves fit together. So many split time period stories have an uncomfortable feel during each break, but the flow of the style and the way the bits of each story complimented what was happening in the other time period worked so much better than usual. The characters in the 1800s time period were all intriguing - even the villains - and while the modern characters did pale a bit in comparison - Hester often comes across as quite selfish but realistically human, and Peter, while perfectly likeable, lacks Ezra's appeal - they did grow on me as the plot went on.

And the mermaids! I could gush about them forever! I loved the savage, other-worldliness of them, from Syrenka's sharp fins to the creepy Sea Witch. Everything about them was creative and imaginative and very spooky.

The final twists were heart-breaking but very unexpected, and - without giving too much away - I was very pleased that the explanation for the curse wasn't what I'd assumed, but something very touching and moving instead. On another note it was also a refreshing change to have so many sensibly named characters! I love the old and beautiful names the humans had, and the Russian flavor of Syrenka's name.

Overall, Monstrous Beauty was an absolute delight, a skillfully written page-turner with a lovely, melancholy feel.


X
 
 
feeling: soresore
calliope tune: "Sixteen Tons"-Tennessee Ernie Ford
 
 
knight in shining leather
15 August 2016 @ 07:59 pm
I've been on a bit of a reading spree this week, continuing with Entwined by Heather Dixon, which promised a re-telling of my favorite fairytale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses. And while I liked some elements very much, perhaps my too high hopes overshadowed my enjoyment.


X

Summary on the back: Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it's taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation. Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

My thoughts: Entwined was a bit of an oddity to me. It was chock full of delicious little bits that somehow failed to come together to form a cohesive story. I adored the idea of the "pockets of magic" and the "Sugar Teeth". I enjoyed the bits of the mother and daughter relationship, as well as the sisters' closeness. There were some lovely descriptions and moments. And Mr. Bradford and Azalea's relationship, while somewhat under-used, was quite sweet (I loved the bit about them meeting as children!).

But in stripping the fairytale down to its bones and then adding so much extra material, the story lost much of its magic. I missed the tale I loved, far more than I was pleased with the added twists on the story. And the plot's jumbled feel, with many of the characters lacking depth or much personality, and Azalea coming across as a Mary Sue, made it hard for me to connect or care about most of them. And it was hard for me to be invested in the King and his daughters's relationship, considering how cold and distant he is in the beginning, making them bringing him back to life feel like it was coming out of left field. Even the Keeper, who initially had the potential to be an intriguing nemesis, gets reduced to a stock villain who leers at Azalea, and behaves creepily around a bunch of little girls. The sort of jarring dark bits - what exactly was the purpose of the stitched close mouth? - took me out of what otherwise would have been sort of escapist fluff, leaving me uncertain what tone the novel was aiming for.

Ultimately, the story presented teasers to promising elements that were never explored - I wanted so much more of the idea of stolen souls for one - and just felt a bit too much like a YA novel for me. Perhaps it was harder for me to love since I'm so attached to the original story, whereas I would be more open to other fairytale re-tellings. Nevertheless I did love that someone used The Twelve Dancing Princesses at all, and would love to see more re-tellings of it in the future. But, sadly, I seem to have missed what everyone else adores about Entwined.


X
 
 
feeling: embarrassedembarrassed
calliope tune: "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine"-Jimmie Rodgers