Friday Feature: Labyrinth Mania

Labyrinth, the 1986 Jim Henson film starring David Bowie (swoon) and Jennifer Connelly (it’s not fairrrrr) is clearly the best film there ever was.

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So just imagine my excitement when I discovered that not only is there a book ‘based on the film’-why is that not a thing anymore?- there is also a sequel in manga form. And it is amazing.

So far, I’ve only managed to get Vol 1 and 2 and have been on the look our for the other two for about three years now…they seem quite rare, and pricey! I refuse to pay £20 for a manga comic, even if it does look as cool as this:

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Just look at Jareth. Woah.

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You can read the first two volumes online at Manga Here.

And that is my gift to you all as we head into the weekend. Big Yays.

View the series on Goodreads

Friday Feature: We Need to Talk About…

…reviewing books in a series.

What happened to #1???
What happened to #1???

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. In a similar way to how I find reviewing 5-star (or in my case 5-Unicorn) books difficult, I find reviewing individual books from a series just as difficult.

I’m wondering this as I try to write a coherent review of Monsters of Men, the final book in Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking Trilogy. But I’m not even talking about trilogies here. They are hard enough, but what about say a book #6 or #10 in a series? How do you, as reviewers, tackle those? I tend to get vaguer with every sequel I talk about!

Here are the obstacles as I see them:

1. Spoilers: It’s pretty much impossible to review one of the books with enough depth without giving away any spoilers from any of the previous books. Depending on the complexity of the series of course, but it can be impossible to mention anything plot-wise that will not give away something that you wouldn’t want to know if you hadn’t read the previous books.

2. Content: And then there’s the actual content of the review. Do you give an overview of the story so far each time, or do you just concentrate on that one book? If you don’t give any background, will what you say even make any sense?

3. Audience: Which brings me to wonder if only people who have read, or at least started the series, will want to read the review? I must admit – I do it. If bloggers put one of those handy ‘about’ bits at the start of their review and it says ‘Series so and so’ #4′ I probably wouldn’t bother reading the review. I might see if it gives the name of the first book to check out, but 9 times out of 10 I wouldn’t read the main body of the post. Don’t get me wrong, blog stats are not the be all and end all for me at all. But what’s the point of spending time writing something and posting it on a public outlet for no one to read it. That’s why we blog right? Especially if you do that for 8 books that the majority of your readers won’t read.

Luckily for me, I am pretty rubbish at sticking to series. I have to be really engrossed by them read every book just because I don’t like to read the same kind of things back to back, and when I take a break from a series to read something else I usually forget to go back to them…and by the time I do remember I don’t feel the same need to read the next book any more. Madness, I know.

One I do want to continue with though are the Vampire Academy books by Richelle Mead. I really enjoyed the first book and I’m waiting for the next one to arrive. Early days yet, but if I do end up reading the whole series I’m wondering how to tackle it. I know I won’t read them all in one go so it could be forever until I finish them if I wanted to review the series as a whole. Or do I just do mini-reviews (I think I like this idea the most – anything to save a bit of time)…?

So I ask you lovely blogosphere…have you come across any of these obstacles? And, if so, do you have any tips to share?

Friday Feature: Book Fun with Barbies

I had a whole feature planned for today until I checked this month’s blog stats and seriously guys, people have been going crazy over anything I’ve posted about Kiera Cass’ forthcoming book, The One.

So, then I thought (as I’m stupidly excited about it too), that I’d do a ‘lets all get excited, with a summary so far’ post….which I was just about to start when I remembered the HILARIOUS reenactment with Barbies that Epic Reads did.

Epic Reads, I applaud you. It really is something.

If you haven’t read any of The Selection series but want to, this video will tell you EXACTLY what happened in the first book so I wouldn’t recommend watching it. But if you have read them, or frankly don’t care, you are in for a treat if you’ve not seen it yet! SRSLY.

 

It’s brilliant right?

Well, the book fun with Barbies doesn’t end there. As with most awesome things on the internet people have jumped on the bandwagon and I found a whole host of Barbie reenactments.

Like this Trailer for The Hunger Games…

 

And then I came to this. A pretty offensive parody of Twilight which I probably shouldn’t laugh at but when Edward sees Bella and pukes on her I couldn’t help do a LOL.

 

Now I really want to play out my favourite books with Barbies. Shame I got rid of them about 20 years ago.

The One is released May 6th, and The Selection Stories was out on Feb 4th. How have I not bought it yet!?

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Related Posts:
*Fangirl Alert* The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass
Di & Lipsy do… The Selection

Friday Feature: 5 Reasons Why Vampire Show Moonlight Was Ahead of its Time.

Before there was Twilight, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries, CBS delivered a short-lived Paranormal Romance series called Moonlight. Anyone remember it? Nah, thought not.

I don’t know what the reception of the show was like in the US but over here in the UK Moonlight was a bit of a non-starter. I’m pretty sure we just got it as a bit of an afterthought to fill a slot on one of the lesser-known Sky channels. I don’t even remember what it was on, or how I discovered it. But I loved it. Sorry, LOVE it.

Moonlight follows private investigator Mick St. John (Alex O’Loughlin), who was turned into a vampire by his bride Coraline (Shannyn Sossamon) on the couple’s wedding night fifty-five years earlier. In the present day, he struggles with his attraction to a mortal woman, Beth Turner (Sophia Myles), his friendship with Josef Kostan (Jason Dohring), and his dealings with other vampires in Los Angeles.

A few weekends ago I had a proper Moonlight binge and watched the whole series. Every time I get to the last episode it makes me sad…it was totally cut off in its prime, managing only 16 episodes before it was cancelled. Which led me to wonder why it never took off…..

Obviously, it was just ahead of its time! Here’s why:

Twi
1. Moonlight arrived in 2007 which was just two years after Twilight was published. It was a year before Meyer’s novel was adapted which was really the catalyst in rejuvenating the Vampire genre, and paranormal romance (on screen) on the whole. If Moonlight had been released after the tween world went crazy for hot immortals then who knows what could have happened.

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2. Alex O’Loughlin was relatively unknown when the series began. He’s since gained fame and acclaim for his role in the reboot of Hawaii 5-0. Having a big name in the lead role could have worked wonders. Not that I’d change it, Alex O’Loughlin is awesome. And by awesome, I mean hot.

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3. Original storylines are hard to come by, especially when it comes to Vampire or paranormal shows. Ideas are lifted from both myth and literature, using them and re-using them to create all of those cliches we are so used to these days. So it’s no surprise that some of the themes seen in Moonlight have cropped up again in newer, more popular series. The use of Vampire blood as a euphoric drug for one. In Moonlight, a case leads Mick and Beth to Lola (guest star Holly Valance), a night-club owner and vampire who is killing her own for blood which she harvests into a drug called Black Crystal to sell to humans, making them feel powerful and sexy. This idea has cropped up recently and most substantially in True Blood* (2008) where Vamp Blood (V) is heavily used as a metaphor for drug abuse.

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4. In another episode, Beth hires Mick to protect the survivor of serial killer ‘Shepherd’ who gets the death penalty. In a Manson family type storyline the killer’s loyal cult following is blamed for carrying on the killings, when in fact Shepherd turns out to be a vampire. Sound a bit familiar, minus the vampires? Recent hit The Following starring Kevin Bacon perhaps? See, waaaaaaaaay ahead of its time.

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5. And lastly, Doppelganger folklore has been showing up more frequently in paranormal literature and TV shows in the last few years. In Moonlight, Mick’s ex-wife Coraline who he killed decades before returns in the shape of Shannyn Sossamon (A Knights Tale, 40 Days and 40 Nights) and he believes her to be a doppleganger. A few years later The Vampire Diaries*, premiered in 2009 centered around the story of Elena, the doppleganger of her soon-to-be vampire boyfriend’s ex. Got that?

*Yes I know L.J Smith’s Vampire diaries series and Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books were released before Moonlight, but we’re talking about TV shows here people. Keep up!

Friday Feature: World Book Day

For this week’s Friday Feature I’m putting the spotlight on the fast approaching World Book Day (6th March).

What’s it all about?

World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly), reading. It’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

WBD is approaching its 17th year and on 6th March 2014 children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. Registered schools are sent packs of Book Tokens and World Book Day Resource Packs full of ideas and activities, display material and information about how to get involved.

Every child in full-time education in the UK and Ireland can receive a book token. Last year over 1.2 million World Book Day book tokens were redeemed: this year they are hoping for more!

£1 Books

Every year, WBD present a selection of short books & novellas, available to all for just £1. This year there are two YA books available:

rockwar-large1

Rock War: The Audition by Robert Muchamore

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

A dramatic addition to Robert Muchamore’s new series, Rock War, this introduces new characters, a never-before-seen band, and a behind-the-scenes look at the Rock War auditions. This is a perfect way in to the series, and a must for Rock War fans.

Two kids, one band, one crucial audition. But will they risk their friendship for the sake of musical stardom?

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The Boy in the Smoke by Maureen Johnson

Publisher: Hot Key Books

On a cold night, Stephen Dene went to the Eton boathouse to perform a desperate act. But someone stopped him along the way, sending his life in a new and decidedly strange direction–leading him to London, to two new friends, and to a world of shadows and mystery.

From New York Times bestselling author of 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Key to the Golden Firebird and The Name of the Star, The Boy in the Smoke is a thrilling prequel to The Shades of London series.

All details taken from the website, where you can find more info: (and lots of other great stuff btw): World Book Day

Friday Feature: Why are good reviews so hard to write?

For my first proper Friday Feature– a weekly post in which I’ve decided that basically anything goes – I want to get something off my chest.

Why is it so hard to write good reviews?

I don’t know why, but when I LOVE a book, like seriously love it, I find it really hard to construct a decent review.

Is it just me? Is it because I’d rather slag something off than think about what I liked about it?

It’s easy to have a rant, whether it’s a good rant or bad one, but to seriously review a book you’ve loved is pretty daunting. Take Twilight for example (yes, you’re allowed to snort in derision), I love it and I’ve read it a really embarrassing amount of times, yet I completely agree that it’s trashy, often derivative and full of really unattractive character traits.

I might agree with a lot of the bad press it gets but I still love it and I have no idea why. So I’ve never written a review of it. (It is however one of the books on my Rereads Challenge so you can laugh at my attempt at some point!)

So guys, I’m opening it up for discussion, feel free to tell me if I’m just weird:

Do you prefer to write good or bad reviews (I’m guessing most of you will say good reviews, because you’re all so lovely), and which do you find easiest to tackle?

New for 2014: Friday Feature

Last year I did a weekly ‘Favourites Friday’ post in which I looked at my favourite books and/or authors. For 2014 I’ve decided to tweak it a little and rename as Friday Feature as that that way I can open it up to post about anything that takes my fancy.

Many of the posts will still be about my favourite books but this way I can feature other things (hopefully) of interest too.

Are we in?

That’s about as far as I got though, so I don’t really have a feature lined up for today. Mainly because I’ve been watching a lot of tennis.

But, please do excuse me while I fangirl for a second….

Yesterday, The guys behind The Selection facebook page released a sneak peak (albeit a very small peak) of The One, due to be released May 6th.

Want it?

No one will know. And seeing as you were with the prince, I won’t ask questions. Whatever you did, I’ll trust it was something important.”

Oh yes, I’m sure whatever she did was VERY important!

AND…

Today is the title reveal for Throne of Glass #3. Watch this space.

Exciting.

[/fangirling]