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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Review

I've been a Sherlock Holmes fan since pretty much forever. It all started the summer that I was fourteen, when I ripped through the entire series during the month-and-a-half long rainy period that I would have otherwise spent biking. What was at first just another series to occupy my time quickly became an obsession; I read all of the books and short stories, then moved on to watching the Granada adaptation with Jeremy Brett as Sherlock. After that, I was hooked.

 So, of course, when the first Guy Ritchie movie came out, I went to see it with some amount of trepidation. I had seen the trailers, and there was no way that this adaptation would be anything like the books, I argued. It wasn't, but I couldn't really summon up the inclination to be disappointed, because it had just been such fun.

 

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows brings that same sense of fun to our theaters now, in late 2011, when so many of our movies have been lacking in it. It wasn't perfect, by a long shot, but its brilliant bits outweighed its flaws, and overall, I adored it for being the  thrilling, heartbreaking and hilarious romp that it was. It is certainly a notable contribution to the existing Sherlock Holmes canon, and worth a trip to the movie theater even if you'd rather curl up at home, far away from the post-holiday madness.

 


Spoilers under the cut. Consider yourselves warned.Collapse )Spoilers under the cut, as well as fangirling. Consider yourselves warned.Collapse )


WARNING: THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK (AND THAT OF ALL YOUR VAMP-Y FRIENDS, WHO ARE GOING TO MEET THE INEVITABLE FATE OF SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER.

ALSO, ABUSE OF CAPSLOCK AND COMPLETE INSANITY.

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I very rarely judge books by their covers, but when I saw this on Amazon and got a good look at the US cover, I knew I was going to have to at least try it.

However, the first few chapters I found fairly slow, and while I did enjoy the boarding school dynamics, I found the lack of any obvious supernatural happenings a bit boring. There were supposed to be ghosts. Why weren't there ghosts?

Then, there were ghosts, and I was hooked.

I do feel that some of the minor characters disappeared into the background in this book, especially Charlotte, who had very little definition aside from being vaguely antagonistic. The Jack the Ripper character was intriguing. Rory and her immediate circle of friends, as well as Rory's referenced family, also made quite an impression. Unfortunately, the relative vibrancy of the central characters made the characters who were poorly defined look that much more grating.

The central mystery was very nicely done, with plenty of little twists and turns and serial killer-centric minutiae, and there were a few nerdy references that made me crack right up. Doctor Who references? Twilight mockery? Shoutouts to the awesomeness that is nerdfighteria? ALL MY SUPPORT.

Overall, I felt this book was quite strong despite its flaws, and a good hook for a series I hope to see continue. I enjoy Maureen Johnson's ghost-infested London and the special people who can see/hunt/kill them intriguing, and being the unabashed Anglophile that I am, I enjoy the British witticisms and turns of phrase that pepper this book. I feel that with a foundation such as this, Miss Johnson has an excellent chance of giving us an enjoyable sequel, and I personally cannot wait to see it.
The Fall of The KingsMILD SPOILERS UNDER THE CUT. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.Collapse )



In conclusion? Swordspoint was the story of a young-and-insane Alec Campion and his favored swordsman. The Privilege of the Sword was the story of Katherine and her own journey through young womanhood in a qausi-Regency setting. The story of The Fall of The Kings is one of old myths and new knowledge, Holly and Oak Kings, and the ancient ties that bind the society of our favorite un-named fantasy city together. All have their merits, all are worth a read, and no one is necessarily better than the other.



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And again I fail to update on any sort of schedule! Sorry, all. My blog tends to get shunted to the backburner when I'm busy :P

However, there are plenty of other places you can follow me/talk to me that I maintain a little better, namely because they're all my on my phone and can be updated anywhere. :)

1.) Twitter. I check this A LOT. Like, constantly. I'll talk about anything, so there's always something interesting going on, though my focus is books/writer-related stuff/television.

2.) Goodreads. I am constantly on here, commenting on the books I'm reading and sharing my progress. Check it out.

3.) Tumblr. This one's mostly fandom stuff and random photographs, but it's fun. Note: I am slightly more irreverent on Tumblr than I am anywhere else. I don't intend to offend, but if I do, please just pop me an email at movelikeatardis@gmail.com and I'll rectify the situation.

So, what I've been working on!

Writing: I've been stuck in essay hell for some time now, but I did manage to write and polish a flash and finish round 3 of revisions on my most recent short story, titled "If You Will Go Wandering".

Cosplay: So, for Halloween this year, I intend to be portraying this lovely gal from Neil Gaiman's excellent Sandman series. I'm about 75% done with the costume: I already have boots, gloves, black skinny jeans, and a black tank in my closet. I need to obtain a studded belt and my ankh necklace + finish off my parasol. It's not really perfect-- the lace is cheap and it was my first time making a parasol from an umbrella so it's a bit saggy in places, but it's nothing that can't be fixed with some time and effort, and overall I'm pretty proud of it.

So, what are y'all doing for Halloween? Be sure to drop me a line at my Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook or here on Livejournal. I always like to know what my fellow nerds/readers are up to. :D

Writer's Block: What a wonderful word

What is your favorite word, and why?
Currently? "Multitudinous". It's long, slightly unwieldy, and sounds better to me than "myriad". It's not one I would use too much in my writing though, since I had to look it up to make sure it existed when I heard it for the first time. Maybe just once in a book?
Some Spoilers Ahead... read at your own riskCollapse )


Since I'm trying to get on a legit posting schedule, next post will be up on Saturday, the 20th of August. Hoping y'all check it out :D
Hey guys! I am aware that, once more, my notorious ability to IGNORE MY BLOG has caused a supreme lack of... well... blogging. *begins attempts to woo blog once more, with chocolates and flowers and promises...*

In my defense, this is where I've been for the past two weeks, and it was so overwhelmingly awesome that it took me a week to recover and stop falling asleep in inappropriate places. (It also left me with a pile of books that I am slowly chewing through-- expect reviews here and on Goodreads soon.) This was my second year attending this workshop, and it only gets better with age. If you're eligible, and you haven't applied yet, and you like writing fantasy, science fiction and horror-- you should apply. Please. I promise you, it will be awesome.

In fact, it was so awesome that its awesomeness cannot be expressed in mere words.

More awesome below the cut...Collapse )

BLOOD MAGIC review!

Blood Magic (Blood Journals, #1)Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


When I first picked up this book, I knew exactly what I was looking for: a dark, satisfying read without any vampires/werewolves/other conceits of the paranormal YA genre. So far, so good-- the opening line had me hooked, and all was well.



The next twenty to thirty pages, however, were very hard for me to get into. I'm not saying they were bad, exactly. It's just that I have a very short attention span and all of the adolescent trappings were putting me off a bit. Also, patiently sitting through plot set-up is not my thing. My favorite parts from this first bit were actually Josephine Darly's diary entries, which had, of course, been snaring me in since the beginning.



Once the plot was set up, however, I started to enjoy this book a lot more. Elements that seemed clunky in the beginning (i.e. Nick and Silla's romance) began to run smoothly and tie neatly into the rest of the narrative, until I was actually quite enthralled. Joesphine's diary entries continued to be creepily perfect ("When you die, I will grind your bones and live forever.") and the POV switching, which was one of the things I had worried about being a drag on the book at the beginning, began to show itself as a very useful plot tool. Reese began to come into his own as a character-- I'd found him mildly interesting before but about halfway through the book I was head over heels for this Badass Bookworm/Big Brother. The tension was building. If Josephine could take any body, who was she? Lilith? Gram Judy (Something I kind of figured wasn't going to happen, but kept as a possibility.)? Mrs. Tripp?



The ending was awesome. Just enough angst and darkness to keep me reading. Plot twists galore. I'm not going to say much more because I'm trying to keep this review fairly clean of spoilers.



Final Verdict: Entertaining, diverting paranormal YA with NO FREAKING VAMPIRES. 3.5 stars. Some clunky bits at the beginning, keep reading and you will be rewarded.



Random Comments:



~I would truly love to see another book in this universe set in the Victorian era. To me, the magic system and aesthetic is very Victorian, despite the majority of the book being set in the modern world.







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