Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

I saw this movie last Friday (opening weekend) with a great group of ladies.  I was so beyond excited for this, hours of time lost to youtube watching clips, trailers, interviews, anything to get my fill while trying to read the books for the first time.   I was on overload.  Then this week orders, work, vehicle complications, finishing book 5 (had finished the first 4 before movie).  In all the madness I never got to put my thoughts down about this movie to share with my readers.

My thoughts about this movie:  Simply put…IT WAS AMAZING AND I LOVED IT!!!

                The book was fresh in my mind having just finished 1-4 in the 2 weeks before the movie and was excited to see how they would work it.  How much they would change.  Most important…Jace & Clary.  Some of my group had some reservations about the people cast for the main roles, as they were not what they expected/pictured.  I, on the other hand, say the trailer prior to reading the books so as I was reading I had their faces plugged in.  I will say when we left the theatre they had all come around and felt the actors they were leery of had wont them over for the roll. 
                I personally really liked Lilly Collins as Clary, she is able to work the balance of strong and vulnerable that is vital.  Clary is a brave character who rushes forward into things she doesn't understand, sometimes this could be seen as stupid, but she is rushing forward to save or protect those she cares for.  She is also weak in the sense that her whole world has turned upside down and she has moments of breaking down and trying to process it.  Jamie Campbell Bower was what I pictured as Jace because I saw him before reading but I as I read I can't think of a single person who could play this character.  Jace is cocky, witty, confident, and lets face it hot (and he knows it), but when it comes to Clary you see a bit of vulnerability there as well.  Plus he is tall and lean and he has beautiful eyes and a soothing voice.  I would be here all day and this would be a very long post if I went through every character so I will only add one more for pure fun.  Magnus.  He wasn't a huge role in this first one, but he was great with those eyes and glitter, and clothes, or lack there of, were great.  I giggled when he first came in.  His brief time you got to see the fun crazy party host and the deeper compassion.

                As with any movie based on a book there are some changes.  As much as us book nerds wish they would just make a 4 hour movie and put it just like the book, Hollywood doesn't seem to be in agreement.  Not everyone would sit through that, sadly.  Thy change things in some parts and speed the time line along (again time is an issue to consider), but a lot of the stuff they changed was more so that they brought things from other books into this movie.  Things we don't learn until book 2 or 3 was in movie 1.  Again I think this was to spare time and give more action.  Trust me there is lots of action and cool fight scenes.  One in particular is The Hotel scene.  It does change with the reason for being there, all of them show up, and for me a sad point, there was no conversation with Raphael.   We get no insight into the Vampires and they are not just Downworlders living with the Accords but they are more pure evil.  I hope we see more on them later.  Another thing that changed was the back story.  There is no mention of the Uprising or the Accords so I am curious how they are going to work it out as the other movies go.  It was close in a sense that they can still make it work.

              The romance is a big part of the series but like in the books there is more going on and sometimes even when you want to have the romantic conversation to explain things you can't because well there is the whole save the world from demons thing to contend with.  They live a life of fighting and early death but as Shadowhunters they know to squeeze in their time when they can.  Jace even takes her to celebrate her birthday, something no one else does.  The banter between them is beautiful and the spark is there.  The greenhouse is beautiful and so romantic (also warning I have the Heart by Heart song stuck in my head since seeing this movie).  There is also the connection between Clary and Simon, her best friend for as long as she can remember.  Always there for her and knows her so well, it is clear to everyone but her that he has feelings for her beyond friendship (which fyi I get because there is an event I plan to write and post about in my own life in which I realize how blind we can be about people in our lives). 

                So I mentioned the greenhouse was beautiful but that doesn't do it any justice.  The whole Institute is amazing, from the door locks (not going to lie I would sit there and lock and unlock my door just to play with it), to the simple yet ornate rooms, to my favorite the library.  The Library was just like I pictures it, multiple levels around the walls but high ceilings and spiral metal stairs (I totally did these, not for practicality but because they look awesome), to the designs on the floor.  The Hotel was also super creepy in the grand turned to ruin kind of way.

                That is about it without giving too much away.  I loved this movie and am saddened to see it is only at #3 this week.  I am happy that they have already scheduled to start filming number 2, and I plan to see this one at least one more time before December when it's expected to arrive on DVD.  In the mean time I have my books and the soundtrack to hold me over.  I highly recommend this movie. 

Rating:  5 Steles

Saturday, August 24, 2013

2 Delayed Reviews

                                                       The Reaper’s Novice- Cecilia Robert

                Another book thanks to NetGalley.  The Reaper’s Novice, is the first book in a series and came out on January 8thReaper’s Novice takes place in Vienna (Austria), I always wanted to visit and the place sounds amazing.  The culture and the life, sound beautiful and diverse.  However, there were some phrases and such I needed to look up to help my understanding.  I had a slight hiccup with the names and what I assume is the way people are properly address at first (Herr, Fraulein, Frau,etc) until I got into the flow of it.  That was my only really problem with the book and I think if you are not familiar with that to just prepare and make sure you pay attention, once I understood it I was fin.

                Now the story itself.  Ana and her family have issues and she wants to fix them, but before the bonding family trip, her family dies before her eyes.  Enter Grim, though he prefers Ernest, who offers to save her family in exchange for her eternal service, she is to be his novice.  She agrees without hesitation to save her family.  Next thing she knows things are better than before with the family, but she slowly realizes she is part of something much bigger.  Now she must try to balance her normal teenage life with a boyfriend who is acting strangely and oh yeah her new novice responsibilities. 

                To help her with those is Zig, suave ladies man who is full of himself.  Zig does grow on you as you get to know him.  He is more than he appears at first.  It is always fun to explore new worlds through the eyes of main characters who is also seeing things, like you, for the first time.  I liked the characters and how they were flushed out, some way out there but others down to Earth.  I think there is a balance there.  Though with our heroin I have her a bit of slack in some area where she seemed to change from strong and determined to…well something completely different but a boy and love was involved so I let it slide on the acceptance that estrogen is a hardcore thing that makes the best of us crazy at one time or another. 

                The pacing of the story does jump around, some moments its very slow then right after an event it just ahead.  The book covers a full year as his Novice and she has to pass the final test in order to pass and secure her families souls which Grim is holding onto.  She learns that this may not have been random and she may have been destined to be part of something much larger.  She has questions but the answers seem to be held just out of reach for her.  Can she save souls?  An entire race?  Her family and friends?

                The Reaper’s Novice, lets you take a hard look at sacrifice.  A new look on souls and what happens after.  I’m excited for book 2 to see where it goes and what happens with the characters I got to know. 

Now as I am behind…here is another book review for you to sink your teeth into. 

                                                       A Night to Forget- Jessica Wood

                This is a book from NetGalley of course and the wonderful publisher All Night Reads.  This is book of Emma’s Story.  I don’t have too much to say about this book without giving the story away.  It was an adult style book geared towards a slightly older/mature audience.  A Night to Forget came out June 20th.
                The story is of a woman who is finishing up college and goes on spring break with her girlfriends after breaking up with her boyfriend the day before where she literally meets the man of her dreams, steamy ones at that.  She lives out her dream and never hears from him again until she goes to start her new career and finds he is her new boss, and worse yet he doesn’t seem to even remember her or their night together. 

             I enjoyed the book and read though it in an afternoon and I’m looking forward to the other half of the story to see what happens.  It was just what one would expect, slightly predictable but I was okay with that and seeing not the final destination but how they got there.  The characters were pretty believable and not outlandishly out there which I appreciate in any non sci-fi/fantasy/alternate universe stories.  I think Wood did a good job at keeping the story moving along and not dragging in any spot for any long period, as I said I read through it quickly in one afternoon.  I would even call this a good beach read, though as I am rocking the Casper look it’s clearly good for any afternoon or evening.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Forbidden to Love - Debbie Davies

                Forbidden to Love was an ARC I received after it came out, I was still excited to get it and check it out.  Debbie Davies' mythical love story came out on March 14th, and is ready to be picked up.

                This is book one in the series that centers around Acacia, the 3rd of the Erosions Zeus created to appease Eros and keep him from causing more trouble.  The first two attempts, Allana and Amora did not do the trick either.  Eros is still upset and the three women created for him, he wants nothing to do with them, accept take pleasure in commanding they shall never love another.  He's an ass, pure and simple.  Sure heartbroken but spiteful.  The story intrigued me and I love mythology based story lines and seeing a new spin on something so old.  The cover was simple, a bit cheesy but so boldly bright it does make you look.

                Acacia is set in her life of helping others find what she is not allowed.  As the youngest looking she is to work to help high schoolers find their sweethearts.  She is reserved and unsure what will happen when the deadline is reached.  Eros also made threats.  Everything is pretty normal as far as she's concerned until she gets this feeling of not being able to breath, everything aches and something is wrong and it all centers around a fellow student she'd never seen before, Josh.  Clearly he must be an agent from hell sent to torture her, or a pawn in a cruel game by her 'sister'.  She can't possibly be in love.  The fates can't be that cruel could they?  Acacia must figure out her head and her heart while the whole world, everything she's knows is questioned.  Can one made to create love handle it for herself or the possibility of losing it?

                I liked the story, I read through it pretty quickly.  My one main thing would be the last part of the book.  I won't give it away, but it feels like the last say…20% of the book was a different story.  I am hoping it was the beginning of the next story in the series, to let you know where the story is going but it also felt slight out of place and rushed for me.  I still liked the book overall and give it 3 stars, and I am curious to see the next story and find out more about the Luca situation and what that means for Acacia and the war.

                Forbidden to Love is ready for you to pick up.