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

Bronco s2&3&4
ER s6&7&8&9&10&11&12&13&14&15
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
Then Came Bronson s1

Miniseries & Films

Union Bound

Upcoming TV I want to try/watch

Lucifer - s2 - September 19
This Is Us - premieres - September 20
Chicago Med - s2 - September 22
MacGyver - premieres - September 23
Once Upon A Time - s6 - September 25
Poldark - s2&3 - September 25
Z Nation - s3 - September
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 - October
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


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feeling: lonelylonely
calliope tune: "Red Rubber Ball"-Cyrkle
 
 
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.



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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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feeling: embarrassedembarrassed
calliope tune: "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine"-Jimmie Rodgers
 
 
 
knight in shining leather
15 August 2016 @ 04:42 pm
I've been hearing about The Child Thief by Gerald Brom, for ages, a often recommended to me novel that promised a dark and gritty re-telling of Peter Pan. And while it was pretty much what it claimed to be, it wasn't at all what I was expecting.


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Summary on the back: Peter is quick, daring, and full of mischief — and like all boys, he loves to play, though his games often end in blood. His eyes are sparkling gold, and when he graces you with his smile you are his friend for life, but his promised land is not Neverland. Fourteen-year-old Nick would have been murdered by the drug dealers preying on his family had Peter not saved him. Now the irresistibly charismatic wild boy wants Nick to follow him to a secret place of great adventure, where magic is alive and you never grow old. Even though he is wary of Peter's crazy talk of faeries and monsters, Nick agrees. After all, New York City is no longer safe for him, and what more could he possibly lose? There is always more to lose. Accompanying Peter to a gray and ravished island that was once a lush, enchanted paradise, Nick finds himself unwittingly recruited for a war that has raged for centuries—one where he must learn to fight or die among the "Devils," Peter's savage tribe of lost and stolen children. There, Peter's dark past is revealed: left to wolves as an infant, despised and hunted, Peter moves restlessly between the worlds of faerie and man. The Child Thief is a leader of bloodthirsty children, a brave friend, and a creature driven to do whatever he must to stop the "Flesh-eaters" and save the last, wild magic in this dying land.

My thoughts: I love both Peter Pan and fairytales re-tellings - and I actually really love the dark origins J.M. Barrie had, of Peter as some sort of child demon who killed the Lost Boys when they became too old, so I was looking forward to this book. And there were things I liked about it - the bits of Arthurian legend and dollop of Celtic mythology sprinkled through-out, the spooky Mist that kills many of the children, and the unapologetically unredeemable villains. I also appreciated how it didn't shy away from difficult subjects - child abuse and abandonment, bullying, and religious fanaticism.

But my problem was largely with the way these elements were presented. The child abuse victims slowly turn into hopeless monsters themselves instead of being shown as victims or, better yet, managing to overcome their pasts. The religious fanaticism was so heavy-handed it felt like a slam against all religion, particularly in the case of the over-the-top horrors of the Reverend. And the gritty violence bordered on sensationalist sadism, with such a high level of descriptive gore, and such dwelling on the brutality without a scrap of goodness or a redeemable character to balance it out, that even I was wincing through most of the book.

The story doesn't just explore darker themes, it seems to wallow and delight in them to the point that it started to bother me in a way few books have. I appreciate that the writer was trying to present a study of how good people can turn evil, but the depressing result failed to touch me in a way it should have.

Overall, The Child Thief was an extremely disappointing and troubling book that I seem to be in the minority by disliking greatly.


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feeling: shockedshocked
calliope tune: "New Kid In Town"-Eagles
 
 
knight in shining leather
I have a renewed sense of love for Tarzan, one of my favorite childhood characters, lately, and I recently stumbled across the early 2000s short-lived Tarzan. Despite being an AU, shifted to the modern era, and combining elements of romance and police shows, the format works surprisingly well, thanks to the wonderful love story between John and Jane. Some of the characters, like Jane's sister, are woefully under-used, but others, like John's aunt, are fabulous, even in their little screentime. I love the other worldliness of John's behavior, such as being completely unaware of proper social behavior, and his constant touching of Jane's face and hair. I also love the delightful gymnastics he does.

Despite being the last person to discover American Horror Story, I plunged into season four, and am completely in love with it. The 1950s carnival setting, offbeat characters, and pretty cinematography hit so many of my tropes and favorite things, and I have a soft spot for creepy anthologies. Jimmy is my favorite character, sad but layered, but I love the complexity of the characters, even most of the villains.

I've been watching The Collector, an angsty and surprisingly emotional '90s sci-fi. The main character, Morgan, breaks my heart every episode, and the storylines are always fascinating.
 
 
feeling: apatheticapathetic
calliope tune: "Skin Divin'"-Avons
 
 
knight in shining leather
On a whim, I gave a try to Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards, a poetic and unusual love story. And I was surprisingly very impressed.



Summary on the back: Sixteen year old Celstia spends every summer with her family at the elite resort at Lake Conemaugh, a shimmering Allegheny Mountain reservoir held in place by an earthen dam. Tired of the society crowd, Celestia prefers to swim and fish with Peter, the hotel’s hired boy. It’s a friendship she must keep secret, and when companionship turns to romance, it’s a love that could get Celestia disowned. These affairs of the heart become all the more wrenching on a single, tragic day in May, 1889. After days of heavy rain, the dam fails, unleashing 20 million tons of water onto Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in the valley below. The town where Peter lives with his father. The town where Celestia has just arrived to join him.

My thoughts: Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of poetry, so the odd, free-verse style of the writing put me off at first. But once I got accustomed to the style, I feel in love with it. Both simplistic and lush, with rich and poignant descriptions interwoven with historical details, the entire novel had a haunting feel that I adored. The point of view jumped from character to character, which meant I got to see inside each one's thoughts, another thing I loved. And while some characters could have used a bit more fleshing out, and a bit more build-up to the romance between Celstia and Peter, it was still easy for me to root for them to find their happy ending, as well as enjoy the more minor characters of the story.

The setting and the events of the Johnstown Flood was intriguing - I knew only a little about the flood before reading the book - and the historical footnotes have definitely inspired me to learn more about this fascinating and tragic event.

Overall, Three Rivers Rising was a surprise treat, moving and lovely, and extremely unique.


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feeling: thirstythirsty
calliope tune: "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This"-Eurythmics
 
 
 
knight in shining leather
Aladdin is one of my favorite fairytales ever, so I went into The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury with high expectations. And for the most part, it met them all and more.



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Summary on the back: When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes. But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

My thoughts: I was in desperate need for some escapist, cheerful fluff, and The Forbidden Wish delivered exactly what I needed with a cherry on top - a surprisingly original and very enjoyable re-imaging of familiar characters, each with a twist on the fairytale. While the plot was comfortably predictable, I greatly appreciated how it steered clear of worn tropes - no love triangle! The Princess and Zahra working together to save Aladdin! Zahra not getting to keep her magic and actually being happy being mortal! - and the writing lacked the pretentiousness many YA novels attempt to aim for with disastrous results.

I adored the descriptions of the wishes - so rich and beautifully detailed! - and the world-building was imaginative and creative. I especially was fascinated by the concept of human children being "sacrificed" to become genies. While I enjoyed the characters, and, unlike many YA novels, found them likeable, I felt they could have used a bit more fleshing out, perhaps flashbacks, or even just more chapters. Likewise, Aladdin and Zahra's relationship, while endearing - I'm a sap for human/genie romances - felt rushed, and the ending abrupt. I would have loved for the book to be longer, or for the story to have been spread out across a series as there was so much potential in the world-building and characters that was left unexplored. Still, the story was a delight, and the conclusion lovely.

Overall, The Forbidden Wish was a breezy, enchanting tale that kept me turning pages and left me smiling.


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Tags:
 
 
feeling: stressedstressed
calliope tune: "Tales Of the Phantom Ship"-Lennie Gallant