Category: Ramblings

Sunshine Blogger Award @Corazzz  @JennieLy  @northernwrites_ @Rachels_Reads  @olivia_gacka @cupofwonderland  @PewterWolf  @myatticlibrary  @FBooksAWTFT  @bibookishbabe  @Lou_Nettleton 

Thank you @AnAverageLife88 

Rules of the award:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate (at least) 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

*****

Questions I was asked:

1. What would your pen name be?

Han Hunter. Keeping it easy and as close to my own name as possible.

2. What song/track gets you motivated?

When I get into work of a morning, the first thing I do is crank up Youtube to get me going. It ranges from simply putting on the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack to singing along to Mr Big’s To Be With You.

3. Which chore do you hate most?

Preparing lunch. I LOVE salads and I’d eat them forever if only it didn’t involve the monotony of chopping. The time it takes to make, the mess… never worth it.

4. What’s the silliest thing you’ve done?

When I first moved to London, I went to see the play Blithe Spirit because Jemima Rooper was in it. I went to the stage door after and while waiting I got chatting to an older gentleman who was part of the cast.

Upon walking away I commented to my friend that his voice was familiar and I thought he was the man from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but it wasn’t listed in the programme. My friend pointed to the next page and I discovered that it was, indeed, Arthur Dent.

Being the expressive person I am, I expressed my sadness that I hadn’t realised and, swinging my arm out to point to the direction we came, I managed to hit said actor.

5. What’s your favourite smell?

Anything that includes cinnamon. That spicy and warm smell just gives me the hug I need.

6. If you could support only one charity, which would you choose?

I would support the charity programme run by Chester Zoo. The work they do on conservation and breeding is incredible. While I don’t condone zoos as a form of entertainment and if we were in a position to remove them from society I would support it, but as it stands, we’ve destroyed the animal kingdom and this really is the one thing we can do.

7. Name yer poison..

Rum and ginger or Gin and Rose Lemonade

8. Tell us something surprising about you..

 

9. Which Harry Potter book/film was best?

The answer for both is the same; Prisoner of Azakaban. It has such an amazing story, the characters are flawless and not to mention my favourite addition, Remus Lupin.

10. Name something you like that nobody else seems to..

Luis Litt from Suits. I think he’s adorable. I know he’s a dick and hard to love, but he really tries.

11. What are you most looking forward to?

For the first time in years, I’m looking forward to Christmas.

*****

Questions I ask of you:

  1. Which actor would you want to play you in a story of your life?
  2. Who would you want to co-write a book with?
  3. If JK Rowling could bring back one character, who would it be?
  4. Who was your childhood film star crush?
  5. Do you dunk your biscuits?
  6. Favourite meal to order at a restaurant?
  7. If you could have a super power, but it would only last for a week, what would you want?
  8. You can have a tea party with 5 fictional guests; who would you invite?
  9. How do you arrange your library?
  10. Ubereats have arrived at your door with a surprise order; what’s in the bag?

I nominate:

@Corazzz 
@JennieLy 
@northernwrites_
@Rachels_Reads 
@olivia_gacka
@cupofwonderland 
@PewterWolf 
@myatticlibrary 
@FBooksAWTFT 
@bibookishbabe 
@Lou_Nettleton 

The Flash S5 Ep1

And into Season 5 we go. While The Flash is a show that on the surface improves each season, I really didn’t enjoy season 4s antagonist; the phd and his wife. Season 5s opener, however, is a strong episode that reminds viewers of plot threads from last year along with some hints as to what’s to come.

The theme of responsibility is at large and I think will play a big role in this season and my favourite thing about the episode is the fact that we’re not introduced to what could be the season’s big bad until the post credit sequence.

Some highlights

Schunchie-do-hickie I do love Cisco and drunk Cisco is the awesome. But the best? Hungover Cisco is best! “Don’t drink and vibe”.

It really annoys me that this would have been a perfect time to get Tom Felton back! ‘we haven’t filled your position.’ – You used to have two people work the lab, how on earth do you not have someone in the lab. You have no idea how much I loved his chemistry with the team.

Awwwww the scene with Barry and his daughter. It was so sweet to see them interact and bond. Although I do fear she might be like Dawn in Buffy or the original annoying add on, Scrappy Do; the actress is adorable, but the character is annoying.

Ralph! I love his misunderstanding of time travel. I’m so happy the brought him back last season. The presence of Ralph also gives me hope in the sense that Ralph was the Scappy Do of Season 4 and he won me around so much that points have to be given to the actor for such a good job.

Nora and Iris bonding. I love that she is happy referring to Barry as Dad and embraces the role of “mom” like a duck to water. It’s an amazing parallel to Barry and how he’s uncomfortable he is calling Iris mom. Her scene near the end where she cries is just perfect. I’ve never been massively fond of Iris, for reason I can’t quite put into words, but this role of Mom really fits the character.

Cisco and his references. He’s my man! Damn, the ‘I am fortunes fool’ line; why don’t these guys exist in real life? Be still my hear, he knows Trek, Movies AND Shakespeare! Sigh! He’s too perfect.

There is a wonderful moment where Barry remembers a lesson from the wonderful Wells and it just reminded me; I can’t wait to see which incarnation we get next. Wells is my favourite plot point about the Multi-Verse! The fact that they have this brilliant actor who can bring these character to life… Gah, I just hope its not too long before he’s back

 

OtherEarth by @jasonsegel and @banksirregular

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What do you do when your first novel in the Otherworld trilogy is near perfect? Well, you up the stakes of course. And with Jason and Kirstin at the helm, boy do they amp up the pressure!
A year ago, I went on an adventure that surpassed all my expectations. This year, I feel as if my imagination has been hijacked, given an upgrade and thrown onto a high speed rollercoaster. I was a bit worried that we’d be spending too much time out of the simulated world, but it’s actually where the drama and tension can really be found.
Simon has a plan, and he can’t do alone. In what can only be described as a Bond on the run, Simon and his friends locate allies, makes deals with enemies and try to not get the rug pulled from under them too many times.
The plot is such a wonderful treat, its best kept a secret until you read it for yourself, but I will say that there is a gritty realism within the narrative that is a refreshing change from the nostalgia trips other books like this provide. Kristin and Jason are able to provide a commentary on some deep and serious topics, including addiction.
The final act brings a mental health sub plot to a head. It’s something that is so subtle and unobtrusive to the plot that don’t be hard on yourself for it blind siding you.
The only fault I can find it that there wasn’t more of the book to read. It ends in such a way that you’ll be screaming and shouting about it for weeks after. Then, just to escape the fact that there’s a year until OtherLife reaches us, you’ll head back to Otherworld for another trip with Simon.

Skyscraper 12a

Skyscraper
12a
1hr 42
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell.
Release date: 18th November 2018

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The Good

It’s a summer action film with the Rock at the helm; you pretty much get what you pay for in terms of expectations. You get the added bonus of Millennial Scream Queen Neve Campbell who works so well with Johnson that I really do wonder why they’ve never worked together before.

I adore the idea that the protagonist is someone with a disability and someone who is one half of a multi-racial couple. The characters, their relationships and the whole ‘people in peril’ plot has me sold from the beginning.

The Bad

There’s too much exposition for a film that should have an easy flow to it. Dwayne spends too much screen time alone and it makes the film a little clunky. Johnson works best when he has someone to bounce off, and what we have to remember is, even John McClane had a radio to communicate with his ‘partner’ and bad guy Hans. It’s the biggest thing that is missing from this.

The Ugly

It’s been done before in a much better format, with a much smoother plot. It’s bordering on a Epic/ Date Movie type spoof feel with the way in which it homages movies; from Cliffhanger, Die Hard and Towering Inferno to Poseidon Adventure, High Rise and even Jurassic Park.

 

It’ll make for an ideal Christmas present for any Rock lovers out there, but my advice is to rent it rather than buy.

The Wider Earth at The Natural History Museum

https://www.kxtickets.com/whats-on/the-wider-earth

IMG_2097

Something wonderful has transformed the Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum. Not only are you transported to a world of inexplicable beauty, you travel in time to meet a 22 year old Charles Darwin on his epic journey of discovery.

Story

Written by David Morton, Wider Earth details Charles Darwin’s five year survey voyage upon the HMS Beagle. Today, Darwin’s theory is widely accepted and faces very little challenge. However, the journey Darwin takes is not simply one of discovery. Morton uses the play to emphasise the challenges Darwin faced, not only of his personal faith but the reaction of others as the diversity between Religion, faith and Science becomes a catalyst for potential social change.

The mystery, the awe inspiring vision and the violent opposition that Darwin faced is all within Morton’s commentary. Not only that, Morton seamlessly alludes to the slave trade and abolition within the realms of religion in order to pose undisputable arguments at to why we are all equal, despite our differences.

Production

IMG_2101

The set it quite simply breath taking. From the opening recitation of Genesis, to the final moments in which Darwin returns home from his voyage, every part of the set it utilised. The revolving centre piece is used throughout the 2 hour production as buildings, the Beagle and even the exotic island landscapes. The lighting and video backdrop only add to something that is already perfect. Between the recreations of Darwin’s scribbles and the blue wash the production uses to recreate the ocean, you will be transported and immersed in Darwin’s world.

I would not be able to write this review without mentioning the one thing that reduced me to tears. The puppetry is out of this world. from the smallest butterfly to the turtles, from the movements to the interactions; the only thing that could have rendered me more in awe would have been in they’d placed an actual new born hippo in my hands.

Casting

The cast of seven are who really sold this play to me. It’s nearly 40 minutes before the audience witness their first puppet animal. but they are the icing on the already beautifully constructed cake. The people on the stage allow me to have an emotional attachment and a connection with a historical figure that I’ve respected for so long.

Bradley Foster brings a curiosity and passion to the biologist and naturalist that everyone knows. There’s a joy and boyish charm in Foster’s role that breaks down the wall between the man and the theory. The conflict between Darwin’s faith and the questions his exploration raise is raw and unapologetic, and is only solidified by the relationships we experience. Notably those of his beloved Emma, played by the delightful Melissa Vaughn who helps bring life and character to many of the puppets we meet, and Captain Fitzroy, played by the incredible Jack Parry-Jones whose handsome frame brings a level of authority and passion to the Captain who dissolves throughout the play as his mission doesn’t quite go to plan. Marcello Cruz plays Jemmy and provides some of the most heart breaking scenes either side of the interval.

It is Matt Tait who held my attention throughout; with his husky Scottish tones that sooth the soul and bring authority to Fitzroy’s second in command, Wickham. He also has an amazing ability to bring to life the puppets he controls. The highlight is the bird that soars around the stage.

Andrew Bridgmont, and Ian Houghton round out the cast and play multiple roles on land and sea. Without them, we would not see the inspiration behind Darwin’s curiosity. They both bring charm, joy and humour to the play and ensure I’ll be coming back for another viewing.

City of Dust by @MKennyPR @HQDigitalUK

City of Dust_FINALCharacter
Talia is back on fighting form, with Max and her twin right at her side. The book jumps right back into Arafel life and brings with it a reunion of old friends and introduction of new players.
Talia continues to remain a character that will forever remain the perfect heroine that from the very start joined the ranks along with Katniss, Triss and Hermione. The impact of Book of Fire is clearly ingrained; she’s battle bruised and trying to keep her thoughts on track. It’s only really when she’s set on a new path that her strength is really propelled to the limelight.
While those who have given their hearts to August will have to wait patiently for his presence within the pages, it only gives you the opportunity to consider Max as a strong character and romantic partner for Talia. He’s Talia’s equal and not scared to show his annoyance. There was the briefest of minutes when I’d forgotten about August.

Story
The world building is as immersive as ever and will consume you completely. The description of the desolate streets are hauntingly beautiful. Aside from the characters, the world building is my favourite part of this series.
The story sees Tailia back in old territory and searching for a stolen item. However, it’s only the tip of the iceberg as the plot opens up to an exploration of eugenics of mythic proportions.
Readers will need to breath when they can, because as the story reaches its final act you won’t get opportunity to. It’s fast paced and epic showdown will leave your heart in your mouth. No one is safe and the fates of many will be left clinging to the edge of a shocking cliff when the final page comes around.

Writing
Just like meeting up with an old friend, the words envelope you in a comfortable hug. Just like Book of Fire, City of Dust contains a glossary for terms. However, the world is so beautifully written, and the action so carefully crafted that the words don’t need the glossary.
The only negative would be that it’s so good that it’s going to be a painful wait for the next instalment.

Film Review: Hotel Transylvania 3

In Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind.

The good

As sequels go, this one has a fair go and keeping fresh and avoiding the pitfalls of gimmicks that worked in previous outings (blah blah blah, for example was referenced, but not over worked)

As always, my favourite was the Wolf-man, his wife and his brood, discovering the on board childcare was a definite highlight.

Drac’s loneliness actually hits an emotional chord. It’s lovely to see films embrace the concept of love after grief.

The humour is spot on. I laughed the loudest and the most throughout the film. I’m sure there were many questioned from confused kids ‘mummy why’s that lady laughing?’ at some of the more adult-based jokes that rendered me a giggling mess.

The bad

It felt a little long for a kids film. Even I was wriggling in my seat. It really could have done with about 20 minutes shaved off, just to keep the audience focused.

The ugly

It was very episodic. Almost as if it was created as part of the Netflix tv series and they were all stitched together. It’s a personal thing, but I’m not a fan of that type of storytelling. War Horse being the worst for that.

Oh… and Al Brook’s gramps and his speedo clad saunter past the witches was a sight I could do without.

The Heartsick series by @ChelseaCain wrap up

 

Click on the title link below to see my coverage of individual books and commentary on who I’d cast in the prominent roles. Hint- David Harbour.
Keep on reading and you’ll see a link to my Pintrest board that might compliment Cain’s AWESOME work. I was tempted to make predictions on any upcoming Archie/Gretchen novels, but I really want to keep those to myself. However, I did once entertain the idea of writing a fan fic that saw Susan on a book tour in Europe. She managed to be held hostage on the London Eye which would have given nail biting ticking clock.

 

https://www.bookdepository.com/Heartsick-Chelsea-Cain/9780312657819?ref=grid-view&qid=1535216223272&sr=1-10=CappyCrash

Heartsick

Sweetheart 

Evil at Heart
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Evil-Heart-Gretchen-Lowell-Chelsea/dp/0330449826/ref=pd_sim_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0330449826&pd_rd_r=88954205-a885-11e8-8dbb-41abd883f66d&pd_rd_w=LVfwK&pd_rd_wg=1YGVO&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_p=88f8d9ff-a36b-4460-ac98-7d949e70c7e0&pf_rd_r=G7VEGXQR18M8CBPPG9ST&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=G7VEGXQR18M8CBPPG9ST

The Night Season
Kill You Twice
Let Me Go


My Pintrest Page

https://pin.it/r3zcf6omhoh6q7

So while reading this time, I started researching things (Namely Susan’s hair colours) and put them into a Pintrest board. Whenever my dad was talking AT me for so long that I could feel my vein popping in my head and I found myself reading the same line four or more times, I’d go into research mode.
Within the board you’ll find that it’s split into the individual books, with a separate one for Archie (David Harbour. Not going to lie, I’ve given up on anyone being cast other than that damn fine man! Follow him on Insta, I beg you.), a Misc one for Susan where it’s items of clothing she is described to wear more than once or I’m not sure which book it should be in.
I also spent some time falling in love with Portland and I’m now planning on going on holiday there in the next few years (read: ASAP).

Please enjoy and comment on any changes in casting you would have.

 

Love

Han x

Let Me Go by Chelsea Cain

I stayed up until midnight when this was released. However I completely forgot I also changed my address so I lived in New York because this one wasn’t released in the UK until MONTHS later.

Reading it at the time was a little disorienting at first. I’d already planned out a story based on the blurb; Hollywood has ingrained in me that ‘trapped in a party’ translates to a skyscraper (Die Hard and Rising Sun are my keystones here). Cain’s story didn’t match mine; It was so much better. It was a million times scarier.

The story really uses its time frame (Halloween) to get under the reader’s skin. When this is made in to a film, this is the one that will be closest to a horror movie than any of the others. The final third is so incredibly tense that during my reread, I got to this point about midnight and the cats decided to come to bed. I haven’t jumped so much in my life.


Casting couch


Bear

T J Tyhne Bones alumni and beautiful man is the only person I could imagine pulling off the facial fuzz Chelsea describes.

Richard
T J Miller
A truly controversial choice, but this is my geeky nod to Die Hard’s Johnson and Johnson.

Sanchez


Oscar Issac Thanks to this little light bulb choice, I need to go back and imagine him in the role. What’s interesting about Issac, is his chameleon tendencies. Watch Ex Machina and Force Awakens back to back and you’ll swear that they’re not the same guy. While I’m not as in love with Poe as I was during Force Awakens (Hell, I’m not as in love with Star Wars as a franchise as I was cerca Force Awakens), I do believe that he has that knife edge charm that will have you understanding Archie thinking he’s dirty.

Cooper

Dave Bautista Cooper has to bring the fear, but deep down have that teddy bear protective quality towards Susan. Who better than the muscles behind Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy. Also, I want him in everything. I want a Being John Malkovich style poster just of his face for the way he’s beautifully putting two fingers up to the Mouse House for the firing of director James Gunn.

Karim

Riz Ahmed The Brit has been seen in dark comedy Four Lions, but Americans will recognise him from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It was an uncomfortable casting because of the current climate around people of Middle Eastern origin. However, you know the thing I love about Chelsea Cain?! She doesn’t once mention Karim’s religion. This wasn’t about Islam. The very first sentence in Sweetheart tells you that Cain does not buy into stereotypes by making her antagonist a woman.
I also love that, within a few hours of posting this particular review, a new article talking about the new Bechdel test that will analyse the appearance and characterisation of Middle Eastern actors within films. It’s aptly named the Riz test. You can head it here to find out more for yourself.

Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain

Another crime thriller knocked out of the park. There’s development of relationships, a character back from a previous outing (Pearl) and one of the most heartbreaking ending of the series. This reread I found myself stalling while I read. I considered, very briefly, that the stall was perhaps fatigue and that I would need another book inbetween this and the next one.
It wasn’t the case; I just didn’t want to get to the ending. I feel everything Susan does and this not only brings back memories of the Night Season, it sucker punches her, twice. I get the moment I’ve been waiting five books for, and not only is it cut short… we get Archie’s internal thoughts afterwards.

There isn’t really anyone for the casting couch today. Yes, Rachel does make her appearance in this book, but I really think that she would be played by an unknown/upcoming actress.

Book review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

This book should, and I predict will, stand along side Handmaid’s Tale, 1984 and Only Ever Yours for its speculative commentary on society and the dangers of censorship and gender politics.

The book’s narrative will have anyone reading bringing it up in comversation; it’s haunting premise will ensure everyone wants to pass on the book in some attempt at prempting it’s possible outcome. The scary part is that it is a possibility and while history does tell us that women have been oppressed, the fear is that it will return full circle.

The exploration of the impact of religion is quite interesting and something I personally wanted to know more. I love that it doesn’t necessarily say that it’s religions fault and is very clear in stating it’s the interpretation of one and the following of individuals. Had the narrative not focused on the one character, I’d have loved to have see the leader’s rise to power; which is a testament to the writer and her ability to build a world with potential beyond the one book.

That said, I loved the protagonist; she’s all of us and the true Suffergette of Vox.

The Night Season by Chelsea Cain

This has always been my favourite installment of the series. My review on Good Reads claims its because there’s no Gretchen. I’m sure that’s part of it, but certainly for this reading it was because it’s the one I see being a movie most. I love the history that’s woven into the plot, I love that it’s someone other than Archie or Susan who finds themselves in a hospital bed.

I gave these books to one of my best friends and the bit I love the most; the relationship between Archie and Susan, is the bit she hates. I love how subtle he is compared to her. I believe that. Maybe because I see so much of myself in Susan I want to believe that it can happen.

My favourite part of this book is the weather; it’s atmospheric and reminds me of the filmic boldness of Se7en (1995). While the rain adds a subdued tone to Se7en, it must have been a bitch to film in.

Casting Couch

Lozenzo Robbins


Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) Perhaps a little older than the book describes, but I have always loved this dude and I think he has the ability to bring sass to the role.

Chadwick Boseman Newly appointed Avenger needs so grounded roles to even out the superhero stuff. Small role means it can be fitted in between Mouse House projects. While he’s an obvious choice in the same strand as Donald Glover (see below), he currently only has the Panther as his standout role. This could be the project that propels him beyond the Wakanda King.

Donald Glover This one for me is a little too obvious and bias. He’s Lando! Lando, for anyone who doesn’t know, is my all time favourite Star Wars character. He has all of Han’s roguishness, and ten times the charm. Never mind the fact that he’s now canonically pansexual. A flirt who finds anyone sexy, regardless of shape, size, colour; I admire that.
However, as I said, he’s too much of an obvious choice. With his film and music career, he’s the man of the moment. Nothing screams ‘ticking boxes’ like picking the most well known person of colour and saying ‘look we’re diverse’.
In reality, if I was producing this series, Robbins would actually go to a relatively unknown and upcoming actor.

Martin Ngyun


Ross Butler Another 13 Reasons Why actor in the mix here. Butler has been one of the stand out performances over the two series and I’m really glad he bowed out of Riverdale to complete series 2. He may be a little on the young side at 28, but hell he’s just spent the last few years playing characters ten years his junior, I’m certain he can go the other way.

Harry Shum Jr The Shadowhunters Alumni would be perfect for this role. Such a beautiful man! Okay, so I’ll also admit it, while this is a dream casting I am also thinking strategy. Having Either of these two in the role would bring a fandom to the cinema and if we start making these movies, there’s no way on earth we’re not getting to THIS film.

Jeff Heil

tye
Tye Sheridan really got my attention as Wade Watts in Ready Player One! Interestingly enough I dismissed another 13 Reasons actor for his age, yet he’s is actually the same age as Tye. There’s a few scenes in this book that I would love to see Tye get his teeth into; two that see him play against Susan.