Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Clarke

                Another book from and the publishers at Angry Robot.  I had read a review for this book from a friend and fellow blogger right before I started it and I have to say my expectations were high.

                The story is set in a world of magic and pirates ARGHH!  *Okay I couldn't resist.  We follow Ananna of Tanarau, as her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan.  This already makes you feel for our main character in my opinion.  I've always hated the idea of arranged marriage.  I could write a whole post on that barbaric practice, so I won't get started.  Back to the book, Ananna doesn't want to marry this guy and sail on his ship under his command.  She has higher aspirations in life.  So she does the only thing she can, she runs.

                Running from an arranged marriage seems pretty easy right.  Not when the clan you spurned sends an assassin after you.  Something happens when Naji, the assassin, comes after her and she somehow activates a curse which changes everything.  Now they are forced to work together, learn to trust one another enough to try and find a way to break this curse while fighting for their lives from enemies on both sides of their duo, which between a runaway pirate bride and an assassin there are many.

                First I have to talk about the characters.  Ananna is a strong female who doesn't need or want to be taken care of instead handing herself.  She is quick on her feet and can think on the fly, her life teaching her how to swindle and stay one step ahead.  Now she does have her own set of morals and beliefs and does need help.  She's not that good at being open or trusting without reason but I think what I love most about her is that she is, for the most part, rational.  She has her moments of letting emotions rule her but for the most part she is able to think things through and have some ration reasoning behind her actions. 

                Now we have Naji, our dark and brooding assassin who is even more closed off because of his scars.  He is a worker of blood magic but is completely out of his depth when hindered by this curse.  At first he is just a demanding and mysterious oaf.  Then you slowly start to learn more about him and he grows on you.  I liked getting to know him as Ananna does, we see how she half wants him to leave her alone and half wants him to stay with her.  Naji has his own demons to contend with and you see the vulnerability in him which is highly unlikely given his profession. 

                Onto the flaws, yes there are almost always flaws, and sadly this one has a tiny bit more than my impatience for the next one.  That is seriously #1 though, this whole waiting for the next book is very inconvenient haha.  Some of the things did seem a bit rushed, which helped keep the story moving for sure but I would have liked a little more in some areas especially along the trip getting from the boat to the island and all with the colorful characters they we surrounded by.  This is nothing to hinder my enjoyment by any means I just felt there was so much more that could have been explored with the same vibrancy and breathtaking detail as the rest.  Though to be honest part of me is hoping that some was cut short to leave more for the 2nd book so I find it hard to be against that.

                I for one can not wait until the next book to see how these two move forward in their journey.  The story is compelling and so much fun.  They are both great characters and that alone makes me want to keep reading to learn more.  I root for the underdogs and lets face it a pirate girl who ran from an arranged marriage and an assassin who is cursed are pretty big underdogs. 

This book came out on October 2nd and I think everyone should check it out.  I'm going to give it 5 daggers because I couldn’t put it down and it let me get lost in a different world for hours at a time.  Have you read it already?  Tell me what you think.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Taken 2 & Pitch Perfect

                Wow so this last weekend I had the joy of seeing some amazing movies.  So here are my thoughts on those but first I have to say that I was surprisingly shocked watching trailers.  Most movies I know within a few seconds having already seen the trailers online and eagerly anticipating them.  Well before Pitch Perfect I saw a trailer that as soon as it started I was thinking how it reminded me of a book series I really enjoy and then I hear the name, Lena Duchannes, and knew it was what I thought.  I may have loudly proclaimed my discovery, that this was the trailer for Beautiful Creatures,  but no one seemed to care, clearly they didn't read the books and knew the excitement.  The trailer posted below is amazing and I can't wait to see it.

                Now that I've gabbed on about the trailer before the movie let me jump right into the reviews of the actual movies.  We'll go in order as usual which means we start with Taken 2.  Squeal.  Yes, that is a very girly squeal because I have been super excited about this movie.  Now this movie follows up on the events of the original Taken, clearly, which was awesome.  If you have lived under a rock and haven't seen it yet, then I don't know what to do with you.  However, if that is the case you really should see it before the sequel.

                Taken 2 takes place shortly after the first one.  It also has, gasp, the same people.  Yep shocking with so many films recasting and then butchering a great movie.  Not this one.  This one has the main characters the same with all the greatness of the original and more.

                Now recap of the first, daughter is taken, but not before calling her father, who has a special set of skills, who goes on a mission to find her.  He finds the people who took her and works his way through them to find his daughter.  Yep he kills and tortures and everything necessary to do that.  Basically he kicks butt and takes names. 

                Jump to this one and well the families of those men he took care of are none too pleased and want revenge.  They don't seem to grasp that they were bad men and he was protecting his family.  Yep, so they happen to catch him in Istanbul post security job when his daughter and ex surprise him for a mini vacation.  It doesn't turn out to be the vacation they were expecting.

                Sounds cool right?  Well if you answered yes then you would be most assuredly right.  There are great chases, fights, and a great overall story.  Also I must say I was super pleased with the daughter.  She has been through so much and she is scared and emotional but she is also determined like her father and doesn't want to be a victim and is ready to act.  She has grown as you would expect but not too out there she isn't suddenly some covert killer like her daddy.  Now, Neeson…what can you say about him?  He was wonderful.  He has this calm and calculating way about him while everything is happening knowing he will find a weak point in the face of danger but it's the normal things that mess with him.  He is super cool and you should know not to mess with him, he's angry.  Also I have to mention that I love how he yells without raising his voice, it's this deep force that is just ubber cool in my book.

                So enough about that basically I'm giving this movie 5 grenades.  If you like action, Neeson, or Taken then you will love this so check it out. 

Rating:  5 Grenades

                Now we move on to the next movie in my marathon, Pitch Perfect.  Warning!  Total girl movie ahead.  Yes my movies are like my mix CDs and the order never makes any sense to anyone by me.  Still the movie was super cute.

                The movie is about singing yes but more than it sounds.  The description I read for it once did nothing for me and I had no intention of seeing it and then I saw the trailer for the first time and couldn’t believe they were the same.  Either way I knew I had to see it.  The music and story are fun and a great pick me up.  Yes it's predictable and crazy but it is cure in the best possible way.  I just looked it up and the songs/remix's are on the soundtrack with is pretty good.  I was tapping my foot along to the whole movie.

                Acting wise I liked the chemistry and humor of the cast.  It wasn't a deep movie but they were all different and had their own little character traits.  If you want a good time, some tunes, and a laugh, check it out.

Rating:  5 Stars