Archive | May 2012

Blog Tour: Stop #4

There was some confusion yesterday—it involved a misplaced link and details I won’t dwell on. Suffice it to say, my blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, is back on track. For the May 21st stop, we have a promotion and a book review at Books, Books, and More Books. Please check them out and show them your support. Also, make sure you check out the sponsor of the whole tour–Bewitching Blog Tours –it wouldn’t have been possible without them.

Blog Tour Delay and Old Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Today was supposed to be another stop in my blog tour, however, there seem to be some issues with the hosting site of some sort. Hopefully, it will be resolved some time soon. In the mean time, I’ve decided to post an old movie so my readers have something to read.

 

Old Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

What can I say? I’m so into fantasy, I even went to see “Alice in Wonderland” when Tim Burton’s version of the movie came out in 2010. I enjoyed it immensely, but I do have one serious misgiving. This was not a kid’s movie. On the big screen, between Tim Burton’s signature gloomy settings, the ferocious bandersnatch, and, of course, the dark and sinister jabberwocky, I think it was a bit much for an audience of young children. I think, lately, Hollywood has a tendency to forget who their target audience is. “Alice in Wonderland” should have been geared towards children; and it was not.

 

Regardless, it brought together a number of talented actors and actresses in the movie. Johnny Depp, of course, seemed perfect for the role of the mad hatter. I’ve never seen Mia Wasikowska before, but she did a remarkable job as Alice Kingsley. Helena Bonham Carter made a perfectly good obnoxious red queen, and Anne Hathaway made a decent white queen.

 

If we ignore the not-for-children aspect, this was an exceptional fantasy story. It tells the story of Alice Kingsley, daughter of a successful (but deceased) businessman. Alice has some difficulties fitting into the polite society of her time. When a young lord proposes to her, she feels beset by a host of issues, not least of all is what she really wants to do with her life. She takes a moment for her self to chase a strange coat-wearing rabbit with a pocket watch. She falls down a hole and finds herself in Underland, a world of magical potions, strange beings, and enchanted swords. This begins her adventures through the mysterious land which culminates in an epic battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil.

 

The special effects of the film were exceptional. The storyline was interesting, and most of the acting was superb. The drawback was, like I said, the movie was not made for the very young. And when I hear the phrase “Alice in Wonderland,” I normally think of the very young as an audience.

 

Anyway, I’ll give it four out of five stars. It would be four and half, if not for that one glaring flaw.

Fantasy Book Review: Mistborn: The Hero of Ages

Mistborn: The Hero of Ages” is the third and final book in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. Sanderson is now, officially, my favorite writer (besides myself, of course). I got so hooked on this book, I was reading it instead of doing the chores and other things I should have been doing. I almost—not quite—let my blog go while reading this. But I didn’t. Anyway, from the get-go this book was exceptional. Well plotted, with an intriguing set of characters. It was interesting to watch how Elend Venture, in particular, changed over the last two books morphing from a too-polite scholar-king into a firm and resolute leader, a real warrior-king.

 

The book tells the continuing story of Vin and Elend in their struggles to save the Final Empire from the ravishings of the dark god Ruin. It seems an impossible task, from the get go. I thought their struggles with the Lord Ruler from book I was bad enough; for much of the book, I really didn’t see how they could do it; it seemed hopeless. There were probably about five or six unusual twists in the story. I figured out maybe two of them in advance, the others were really quite good. The book connected back to both books I and II in clever, intriguing ways.

 

If there was a flaw in the book, it was the personality of Ruin. Sanderson had only one book to work him in, really, so that may have contributed to it, but I didn’t get much of a sense of him beyond that he was a really bad being. Of course, how much can one really develop the personality of a near-omnipotent being? Oh yeah, I also have problems with turning humans into gods or near-gods. But that’s just me.

 

Ultimately, I think the book was well worth the read, so I’ll give Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn: The Hero of Ages” four and a half out of five stars.

 

This review originally appeared on Shelfari.com at 3-19-12.

Continuing Blog Tour:

My blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, will continue this coming Monday, May 21 until June 5th. I’ll be visiting a variety of blogs across the Internet for interviews, guest posts, and more. In the mean time, I will return to my original blog format, posting on Mondays and Thursdays.

Book Review: Mistborn: The Well of Ascension

Mistborn: The Well of Ascension” is book II in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. I was first exposed to Brandon Sanderson via Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series. He’s been doing such a good job with that, I figured I’d check out his other work. So far, I’ve been impressed.

 

“Mistborn: The Well of Ascension” continues the story of Vin, the hapless street rat, turned deadly Mistborn, turned consort to the King. The King, Elend Venture, is trying to set up a system of government that grants freedom to the skaa after a thousand years of oppression under the Lord Ruler. Unfortunately, a number of nobles don’t want any such thing and are laying siege to Luthadel, the capital of his fledgling kingdom. Vin is dedicated to seeing Elend’s efforts come to fruition, protecting him and spying for him.

 

Overall, the plot was intriguing; it pulled me in in a way rare for most modern fantasy novels. Again, the magic system is so different I hesitate to call it magic. If there is a flaw in the book, I think it is that it ends with too much of a twist. There are hints of what is going to happen in the end, but they are virtually impossible to figure out beforehand. As a matter of fact, a couple of them I “noticed,” but I just thought Brandon Sanderson messed up, so I ignored them. But he didn’t mess up. What I thought were mistakes, were eventually explained in a cohesive way. The main characters I liked, but again, some of the minor characters did not really distinguish themselves: I still can’t keep straight Dockson and Ham. But they are minor characters, so that is a minor flaw.

 

Ultimately, it was well worth the read. I’ll give Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn: The Well of Ascension” four and a half out of five stars. Not quite five, but close enough.

 

This review was originally posted on Shelfari.com on 3-15-12.

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