“A Few Updates” 2: Electric Boogaloo

Sorry, friends, looks like I’m gonna be on another (but shorter) hiatus.

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I promise it won’t be as long as it was last time, though. I’m going to Canada tomorrow (WOOHOO!), and I’ll be back about a week from now. I’m not going to be able to get to a Book Review Tuesday that week, but I’ll take LOTS of pictures from my adventures up north and compile a nice little post once I’m settled back in.

I should probably do another fan art post soonish, but I’ve already…yeah, I’ve kinda dumped a bunch of stuff on you guys since I returned from the dead about a week ago (if you’re curious, look for 6/4/19 [Aurora Rising review], my Dark Phoenix review, and 6/11/19 [Defy the Fates review].)

 

Again, sorry, guys. See you soon!

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👋

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Book Review Tuesday (6/11/19)-Defy the Fates

Hey, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

And yes, that’s right…

IT’S HERE.

The conclusion to the Constellation trilogy is HERE! (*ahem* okay technically it came out in April but I just got around to reading it a few weeks ago)

And man, it’s STUNNING. A beautiful conclusion to an unforgettable series.

 

Before reading this review, though, I suggest you read my other reviews for the previous books in the trilogy, Defy the Stars (see 5/15/18) and Defy the Worlds (see 5/22/18), if you haven’t a) caught up with some of the books or b) haven’t read the series yet. (If the answer if ‘b’ for you, then WHAT ARE YOU DOING? READ. THIS. TRILOGY.)

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Defy the Fates (Constellation, #3)

After the disaster that left Noemi Vidal close to death, Abel’s final goal is to save the life of the one he loves. But it won’t be easy–the only way that she could be saved is to replace some of her body parts and organs with robotic material. And the one person in the galaxy that could pull off this procedure is the person who Abel has desperately been trying to run from: none other than Gillian Shearer, daughter of Burton Mansfield, his notorious creator. Shearer is his only chance, but her intentions are more than Abel can see–she wants Abel for herself, as a vessel for Mansfield’s now detached consciousness. Can Abel save Noemi–and himself–from a fate worse than death?

 

 

Defy the Fates was a satisfying, beautiful ending to a phenomal series. Though it wasn’t  quite on par with Defy the Worlds (basically The Empire Strikes Back of the trilogy), Defy the Fates still retained the intricate writing, intriguing plot, and raw emotion that was so characteristic of the trilogy. The ending perfectly wrapped things up, and didn’t leave me wanting anything more, for what we had was just right. Thank you, Mrs. Gray, for this unforgettable gem of a trilogy. ❤️ Abel and Noemi forever!

Also…something about Abel on this cover–not the other ones, mind you, weird–looks a teensy bit like Dan Stevens. Dunno why, dunno how, it’s just this one cover. Gettin’ some David Haller vibes, guys…

 

Thank you so much for reading this week’s review! Have a great rest of your day, take care of yourselves, keep on reading, and most of all…enjoy your summer!

The Phoenix has Risen…and it was Worth the Wait! (Dark Phoenix review)

Let me start off by saying that this was probably the movie that I’ve most anticipated in my entire life.

Since I discovered that it was happening about a year ago, I was absolutely over the moon excited. I counted down the days, I squealed every time I saw the poster by the movie theater, I made my parents take a picture of me next to said movie poster(s), set all my wallpapers to the various posters (which all belong in the MoMA, honestly)…you get the idea. I was a very, very excited little mutant.

As the reviews started pouring in, I got a little worried. I told myself, time and time again, not to listen to the critics. I also tried to tell myself not to expect another First Class or X2, but…I couldn’t really help myself up until the end.

Then, I saw it on Saturday night. I haven’t felt such a surge of joy in a long, long time, not like I did when the “feature presentation” screen finally came up.

And?

It didn’t deserve such hate-filled reviews from the critics. Nor did it deserve as high praise as some of the other films. But even still, an incredible film, and a beautiful ending to a masterful franchise.

*SOME SPOILERS AHEAD–I ADVISE THAT YOU DON’T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN DARK PHOENIX*

 

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“I Want All of These Posters Framed in a Museum” and other stories, part one. This one gives off some wonderfully Stranger Things vibes. 

 

 

Dark Phoenix has always been one of the most revered stories in the whole of the X-Men universe. Full of raw emotion not usually seen in a superhero story (at the time, at least), it was a groundbreaking series that changed the X-Men forever. I doubt any film will ever come close to portraying it perfectly, but Dark Phoenix sure came close. Some alterations were made to the plot, but they made enough sense that they worked with the story. (ex. instead of Jean consuming the mother star of the D’Bari and wiping the entire race out, they nearly went extinct in another way and sought Jean’s Phoenix Force to resurrect what was left of them. A bit cliche, but again, it worked.)

Perfectly paced, stunning FX (especially when it came to Jean), and a plethora of fun Easter Eggs that…yeah, I had a bunch of Chris Pratt-esque, gaping moments in the theater. FOR EXAMPLE…

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–Dazzler. DAAAZZZZZZLEERRRRRR!!! I mean…okay, she’s not my favorite, but it was pretty cool to see her show up briefly after all these X-Men films. Plus, she was originally introduced in the Dark Phoenix Saga, so…nice touch.

 

 

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–GENOSHA. Such a beautiful set. I really liked the approach they took with it–instead of being super high-tech, the structures and buildings were largely made up of scrap parts. Magneto’s house was also really pretty. (I mean, who wouldn’t put it past him to have a matching tea set?)

 

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Another little Easter egg was the addition of Red Lotus (behind Storm) and Selene (in front of Nightcrawler). Though I can see why they were added in, they didn’t have much screen time at all, and seemed almost unneccesary, other than being throwaway allies of Magneto. Selene does look pretty cool, though. I’ll give them that.

 

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What truly made this film, as it did in the comics, was the emotion and the themes of family. Dark Phoenix masterfully captured the raw, unfettered feelings of each of the mutants, showing their conflicts, their sorrow, their anger. Most prominent of all was Jean herself, and her internal struggle with her newfound abilities. I got choked up at the end–no spoilers, but it’s bittersweet, with a heartbreaking loss, followed by something more hopeful. A fitting farewell for the 20th Century Fox X-Men.

 

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And to top it all off, there’s always the classic fun that comes along with watching an X-Men movie. The battle scenes are over-the-top, but in the best way possible. The final one was one of my favorite X-Men battle scenes, period.

No spoilers for this portion, but I’ll tell you one thing–

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The context for that scene is…darkly hilarious.

 

Of course, every movie has it’s flaws. Dark Phoenix was in no way perfect, and I wished we’d had these aspects in it at some point:

 

–Quicksilver never told Magneto that he was his son. It ALMOST happened in Apocalypse, but alas…nada.

–On the subject of estranged relatives, there was a similar problem with Mystique and Nightcrawler. The only hint we get of their mother-son relationship is also in Apocalypse--she gives him some degree of special treatment, but not much beyond the rescue from the mutant fight ring.

–In the other films, there was lots of care taken to make the time period believable. Dark Phoenix is set in 1992, but if we weren’t told that, I’m not sure that I would’ve figured it out. Not even a band shirt or a running soundtrack for Quicksilver. *single tear slides down cheek*

 

But, all in all, Dark Phoenix was worth the long wait. Solid 8.5/10 from me. Go see it, X-Fans–you won’t regret it. Mutant and proud. 😉

Book Review Tuesday (6/4/19)-Aurora Rising (+ a few quick updates and explanations)

It is I, fellow bibliophiles, back from the dead at last!

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Again, so sorry for going M.I.A. for about a month there. AP exams and finals were weighing me down a little bit, and I was a little *busy* about a week ago (by “busy” I mean “converting some of my friends to X-Men before Dark Phoenix comes out”). But hey, I’m back now, and I’ve got a positively INCREDIBLE book to review!

(Oh, and HAPPY HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! 🏳️‍🌈)

Everyone’s got their dream book. For all bibliophiles, there’s always that one book that we sorely wish that we’d written, that we re-read endlessly without getting tired of it. There’s a few books for me that I feel that way about. Think…Heart of Iron, and a few years back, the Search for WondLa series. Now, Aurora Rising has stolen the title of dream book…yes, surpassing Heart of Iron.

And I thought that was the best book in the universe. MAN.

Aurora Rising is, in short, everything that I could possibly want in a book–downright lovable characters, a fast-paced, intricate plot, and some classic, high-stakes space adventure.

Without further ado, here’s the first Book Review Tuesday in…like, a month? Wow, I’m really in rare form…

 

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Aurora Rising

Tyler Jones thinks he has it made–he’s about to graduate at the top of his class from the Aurora Academy, a school that trains humans and aliens alike for interstellar humanitarian missions. But on the day of his graduation, he finds a defunct ship drifting out in space. In it, he finds Auri O’Malley, a girl who has been frozen in a cryogenic pod for 220 years.

After rescuing Auri, Tyler is late to graduation, and ends up with a ragtag crew of misfits and delinquents, all of which will accompany him on his missions: Scarlett, his twin sister, Cat, his childhood friend, Finian, Zila, Kal, and now Auri. Though the unlikely group seems destined for anything but greatness, they soon find themselves embedded in a mystery involving the mysterious planet that Auri and many other human colonists were set to settle. And Auri herself is an enigma–with each passing day, new powers wake within her, putting a target on her back that everyone in the Milky Way Galaxy can  see from miles away.

 

 

Now, presenting the reactions of my last brain cells, upon finishing this book:

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YYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH

 

AAAAAAH!!!

 

Aurora Rising truly has it all–aside from the factors that I stated above (incredible world-building, characters TO DIE FOR, and ✨SPACE FUN✨), there’s also:

-Not only do we have great characters, but the chemistry between them is FANTASTIC

-BEAUTIFUL writing. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are honestly gods…

-No spoilers, but MY DREAM SHIP IS *squeezes two fingers almost completely together* THIS CLOSE TO BECOMING A REALITY

-DIVERSITY! Let me elaborate–Zila is African-American (or British? I dunno, they didn’t specify, but she’s definitely poc), Auri is mixed race (half Irish, half Chinese), and Finian is definitely LGBTQ+ (again, no explicit explanations, but I think he’s either bisexual or pansexual), and also has a disability that requires him to wear a special suit for mobility. (MAN, and I didn’t think you could get such good representation with an alien, for God’s sakes, and here we are…and I’m HAPPY FOR IT)

I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again. DREAM. BOOK. AN ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE. PLEASE, GO READ IT. I’d rate it a solid…however many stars there are in the known universe out of 10. I kid you not. 😉

 

Kaufman and Kristoff have confirmed that this is going to be a trilogy, but as this book only came out about a month ago, we have no information other than that. (*cries while re-reading it and waiting for 2020*)

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this week’s review! Have a great rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Oh, and don’t forget…DARK PHOENIX COMES OUT ON FRIDAY!!! I’m seeing it on Saturday, so I’ll DEFINITELY get to a review at some point…AAAH!

 

A few updates

Hi, everyone. I thought I’d take the time to notify you of a few things:

 

  1. I’m not going to be able to do a Book Review Tuesday this week. 😦  My afternoon/night is going to be pretty busy, and I won’t have any free time. (Hey, I’m seeing Santigold in concert, though, so that’ll be really fun!) 5o1.gif
  2. I saw Avengers: Endgame last night, and I must say, it was INCREDIBLE! No spoilers, but it’s probably my favorite movie in the MCU now. I definitely want to review it soon, but I probably won’t for another few weeks so I don’t spoil anything for you guys. DON’T 👏 SPOIL👏 THE 👏 ENDGAME 👏 giphy.gif
  3. It’s that time of year again…finals. [cue “The Sounds of Silence”] Mine are in about a month, and I’ll have to study pretty hard for them, so I won’t be able to do as many Book Review Tuesdays this May. But then it’ll be summer again, so at least I’ll have that to look forward to. giphy-1.gif

Just thought that I’d let you know. I probably won’t be as active in the next few weeks, but I’ll probably have some good content in store come summertime.

As always, have a great rest of your day, stay safe, and take care of yourselves! 😉

Book Review Tuesday (4/23/19)-Once and Future

Hey, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

First things first. Happy World Book Day to all you bibliophiles, first of all!

Second, Happy Birthday (and…death day too, poor guy) to the Bard, William Shakespeare!

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Can’t not mention that. We’ve read Romeo and Juliet and Othello in my English class this year, which I ADORED, and I look forward to getting into even more.

 

Now, onto this week’s review.

 

I went to my favorite bookstore the other day, and as soon as I saw Once and Future on the shelf, I knew that I HAD to buy it. I’d heard SO many good things about it, and what’s not exciting about a retelling of the tale of King Arthur that a) features a poc, LGBTQ+ girl as King (Queen?) Arthur, and b) is set in SPACE? I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Already, this is one of the best books that I’ve read this year, and even though it’s only April, definitely one of the best YA books of 2019. (Or should I say…20-BI-TEEN???) (Sorry, low-hanging fruit there.)

Enjoy the review!

 

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Once and Future

For all of her life, Ari has known nothing but being on the run. She remembers little of her homeworld, and now lives on a space station with her older brother, trying to evade the clutches of the Mercer Corporation, who control nearly everything they can get their hands on in the galaxy. In a desperate attempt to escape the station and find their kidnapped parents. Ari crash lands her brother’s ship on a place called Earth. Upon arriving, she discovers a sword embedded deep within a stone…

…and pulls it out with little effort.

Ari is the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur, and she is now tasked with saving her galaxy from the iron grip of the Mercer Corporation. With the help of a backwards-aging Merlin, her brother and friends, Ari must rise to the challenge, and bring peace and unity to a galaxy that desperately needs it.

 

 

Well…this is pretty much how my last two brain cells acted while I read this book…

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I laughed, I cried, I internally AWWWWW’d SO much…all the feels are present here. A fresh, inventive retelling of a classic tale, with a well-executed twist. I loved seeing each and every element pop up in its new form, everything from the Knights of the Round Table to Merlin (God, Merlin…he’s probably my favorite). The characters were lovable in every possible way, the plot kept me at the edge of my seat, and the writing was simultaneously witty and heartwarming. Plus, fabulous representation (poc, LGBTQ+, etc.) in most aspects.  5 stars on Goodreads, and I’d say about 9-9.5 on my rating scale. SOLID A.

 

I believe this is going to be a duology, and the next installment, The Sword in the Stars, is set to be released next year. *excited squealing*

 

Thank you so much for reading this, and have an excellent day!

 

 

 

 

[tired noises of frustration ensue]

Yeah, sorry, I forgot this week’s Book Review Tuesday. Apologies.

 

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I just had a really busy day yesterday, and I didn’t have too much time at home, so I was unable to crank out a proper review.

Anway, I’ll try to post some more stuff soon.  I’m debating whether or not to review Hellboy (2019) because I’ve got some rather mixed feelings, and I’ve been thinking about a few more Hellboy/Mignolaverse related posts, so hopefully I’ll make up my mind before next week. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

Again, sorry. Have a great day, and please take care of yourselves. 😉