Star Trek Discovery S1 ep3: Context is For Kings

Star Trek Discovery
S1 ep3: Context is For Kings
From IMDB:
Burnham finds herself aboard the U.S.S. Discovery, where she quickly realizes things are not as they seem, including the mysterious Captain Gabriel Lorca.

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The Logical

This is so different from any Star Trek ever to be broadcast before. It certainly is going boldly and going places we’ve never been. We finally get to meet the crew that I have an impression we will be with for the remainder of the series.

There are two characters that I really enjoyed this episode:

The chief engineer, Paul Stamets, is brilliant. He’s a grump, proud and passionate. I really do like the gritty realism this gives the show. I also am liking that he doesn’t seem to be the Captain’s best friend like with all previous incarnations. There’s a clear hierarchy to the crew; one I’m interested to see how this progresses.

The other character was the Captain, played by Jason Issacs. Captain Gabriel Lorca is not a normal Starfleet Captain; he is not clear cut or led by his morals. There will be no seeking sage advice from this Captain, and while I would not want to see the Borg make an appearance, I would love to see him take them on.
I get the feeling he’s not a good guy, but I’m not sure I care about that. His Malfoy charms aside, there’s just something that to me suggests that he will be loyal to his crew and that is all I need, for now.

We have our first away mission; it delves into Alien territory and I loved it. The effects, including the deformed engineer and the action sequences.

Finally, the leading lady; Michael. Her story takes on a twisted Die Hard meets Doctor Who. While she was considered disgraced by Starfleet, Lorca doesn’t like waste and woos her as the Doctor would a companion.
The part I loved the most about Michael’s journey in this episode is her references to Alice in Wonderland. To me, it harks back (or forward) to Jim Kirk and his love of Peter Pan.

The Illogical
There was an extensive ‘previously on…’ Is it really necessary in this day and age, when most people don’t watch live and missing an episode is near on impossible.

It took three episodes to get to the show’s namesake ship. That’s a little long considering that it’s a 15 episode series order.

I’m bored already of the ‘but Michael is a man’s name.’ Are we really forgetting the Walton’s Michael Learned?! It’s not strange, it’s frigging awesome and having crew members take issue is really narrow minded and archaic.

The chief engineer, Paul Stamets, is brilliant but I couldn’t help wishing it was Alan Tudyk in the role.

It’s like the Walking Dead of Trek; very dark, very serious and very very depressing.

I did, for a brief moment, wonder if the reason why we’re here before the missions of Kirk is because time travel is involved. I can’t quite get my predictions to mesh with what I already know. However, I’m starting to get the feeling that there is a reason why it’s set at this point.

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Some things that I wrote

So, this will be a quick post, as I’m filling time on my commute. I’ve mentioned before that I want to be a writer, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I’ve been published. I’m not talking about the joke I submitting for the library newsletter when I was 6.

I’ve been published twice by a wonderful website called 365tomorrows. A little slice of flash fiction every day.

https://365tomorrows.com/2015/09/12/the-straight-swap/

https://365tomorrows.com/2012/06/01/death-of-the-signal/

Waiting for Callback by Perdita and Honor Cargill #bookreview #han

Waiting for Callback by Perdita and Honor Cargill
Release date: 28.1.16
Buy it here
Goodreads

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Description:
When Elektra is discovered by an acting agent, she imagines Oscar glory can’t be far away, but instead lurches from one cringe-worthy moment to the next! Just how many times can you be rejected for the part of ‘Dead Girl Number Three’ without losing hope? And who knew that actors were actually supposed to be multi-lingual, play seven instruments and be trained in a variety of circus skills?

Off-stage things aren’t going well either – she’s fallen out with her best friend, remains firmly in the friend-zone with her crush and her parents are driving her crazy. One way or another, Elektra’s life is now spent waiting for the phone to ring – waiting for callback.

Can an average girl-next-door like Elektra really make it in the world of luvvies and starlets? Geek Girlmeets Fame meets New Girl in this brilliantly funny new series!


Characters
Elektra James is a solid leading lady in this book; she has the charm, drive and humility. She is a likeable, believable and most of all, relatable. She’s someone I would love to get to know

Her friend Moss is an interesting background/support character. We see her withdraw from Elektra quite early on in the book, yet we still learn a lot about her through the texts between herself and Elektra.

Archie is a lovely character, but lacking an obvious flaw, puts be on guard. I want to believe that he’s this wonderful, charming young man, but I’ve been burnt before. I’m intrigued to learn more about him in Take 2. I really do hope he doesn’t hurt Elektra.

Plot
It felt episodic, which is something amazingly refreshing. I wasn’t entirely sure where the story was going, ensuring it was a page turner from start to finish.

There’s drama, both on and off the set, but all seems fairly resolved before the final pages. It’s quite wonderful for a book to be resolved, yet wanting more. It also helps that I know there is more to come.

Writing
A brilliant use of emails and texts move the plot along and develop the minor characters. It’s not usually my cup of tea but it really works within this novel. It has a wonderful ease of reading akin to writers like Holly Smale and Bourne.
I really cannot wait for Take 2; it’s ordered and on its way.

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
Release date: 5.9.2017
Buy it here
Goodreads

Description:
The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. 
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. 
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. 
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

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Characters
Julie is known in the book as many, many names, but is referred to as Jule on the most part. Very little is known about her as a person, which gives me a sense of fear or uncertainty. Had it have been a first-person narrative, I would have said she is the most unreliable character of YA fiction I’d ever come across. In fact I still, hours after reading, don’t trust her or her motivation for doing what she does… which is why I’m so spellbound by her.
Jule is incredibly intelligent and resourceful. Just wait until the pin starts to drop and, while we never get a true sense of who she is, you do realise how strong she is.

Imogen is a spoilt, unlikable character and there seems to be a sense of justification about what happens to her. Yes, we get a lot of information second hand, but you do later realise there’s other things you have to look out for to learn about this character. Not that it helps.

Forrest and Brooke are equally unlikable; however, you may feel a little sympathy for them. They’re both upper class collateral damage.

Plot and writing
It’s hard not to talk about both of these together, owing to the nature of the book. It’s a third person narrative that has a backward/ retrospective plot that is reminiscent of the beautiful film Memento (2000).
This is unputdownable writing. I read it in one sitting, mainly because I needed to know. I don’t think I could have kept up with the threads had I been dipping in and out of the narrative.

While it’s clearly not a new concept, as Memento can attest to, it is a gripping way to set out a novel and it won me over from the start.

The Baby by Lisa Drakeford

The Baby by Lisa Drakeford
buy it here
Goodreads

Details: When Olivia opens the bathroom door, the last thing she expects to see is her best friend Nicola giving birth on the floor – and to say Nicola is surprised is an understatement. She’s not ready to be a mum, and she needs Olivia’s help. But Olivia has her own problems – specifically her bullying boyfriend, Jonty, and keeping an eye on younger sister Alice. And then there’s Nicola’s friend Ben, who’s struggling with secrets of his own

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I started reading this at midnight and suddenly found that it was almost four am and I had read the entire book!
I loved the format of this book; that each section focused on a different characters point of view and that each section moved the story on timewise.
Each character was distinct, interesting and very real – they all had their own idiosyncrasies and flaws, and it was the way they came together in the wake of Nicola having the baby that made it so fascinating.
They all grew as people in the months that the book covered, and I really enjoyed seeing how their friendships were affected by the events that had happened, and I’d become really invested in them so when it finished I still had questions as to what would happen next to them.

A great book for fans of Trouble by Non Pratt or contemporary YA fiction in general!

****spoiler alert****
I really want to know how things worked out between Nicola and Jonty, and Nicola and Ben and Jonty and his dad… basically I started off hating Jonty but then I really warmed to him after I knew more about him!

Hope by Rhian Ivory #nspBookClub #bookreview #Han @Rhian_Ivory @zcollins1994

Hope by Rhian Ivory
Release date: 15th September
Buy it here
Goodreads

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Description: The summer between school and sixth form. When Hope doesn’t get into drama college, and her friends do, all her plans fall apart. She’s struggling with anger, grief for her father and a sense that her own body is against her. She meets Riley on the ferry and his texts give her someone to talk to. But this isn’t a story about a boy fixing everything. It’s about trying new things, having the courage to ask for help and that when things seem to be all over, that might be just the beginning.

Characters
Hope is wonderful; she’s a strong and empowered voice. She uses that voice to inwardly project anger, fear and confusion. Sometimes it bleeds to an outward expression, but I felt it more within the inward thoughts and feelings.
Her passion for the performing arts are in conflict with her feelings of rejection from her final audition.
Seeing her overcome her obstacles of grief, mental health and relationships is incredibly endearing to the character.

Riley, the young man Hope meets at the start is an interesting character. While he is a romantic interest, there is something a little more innocent and organic about their connection and development.
Interestingly, we know very little about him, but we also see that he is complex and well rounded; not a 2-dimensional plot device that he could have come across as, had this book been in someone else’s hands.

Plot
It is a heartfelt plot, taking place over the summer between the end of GCSEs and the start of college education; whatever that might mean for Hope.
It is a clever, interwoven story; her job over the summer helps Hope in so many ways that you would not expect from the outset; from her undiagnosed mental health to her future beyond her dream career.

Writing
Having such a strong character is half the battle when it comes to this beautiful and educating novel. It is very clear that research has gone into this. From informing the reader about organ donation to Hope’s diagnosis.

This is a book that I will be purchasing many copies of in order to have them in my school lending library.

 

NSPBookClub

Hope will be discussed as part of the wonderful Zoe’s #nspBookClub on Saturday 14th October at 6pm. Come join us 😀

Sleepy Hollow – 15

Sleepy Hollow – 15
Release date 22nd Novemeber 1999
Trailer
Rewatch date: 1.10.2017
From IMDB:
The curse of the headless horseman is the legacy of the small town of Sleepy Hollow. Spearheaded by the eager Constable Ichabod Crane and his new world ways into the quagmire of secrets and murder, secrets once laid to rest, best forgotten and now reawakened, and he too, holding a dark secret of a past once gone.

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Sigh. Back when I still enjoyed watching Johnny Depp. I remember seeing the posters declaring ‘heads will roll’ during the summer of 1999. I so desperately wanted to see it. It wasn’t until the following summer that I saw it and fell completely in love with the whole production. To the point that it became the focus of one of my Textile projects in Year 11.

For me, it’s my favourite Tim Burton film; replacing my love of Beetlejuice in a heartbeat. While there are elements within the film that identify it as a Burton, it also stands apart from the others for many reasons.

Their heads weren’t found severed. Their heads were not found at all.

Casting

Long before I got bored of the Burton/Depp bromance, this was the epitome of their partnership. Depp is the beautiful and charming, if not wimp like Ichabod Crane. It’s on the cusp of being cartoonish, but the darkness of the plot keeps it at bay and allows the role to provide the heavy film with a little humour.

Christina Ricci is a far better fit for this than Burton’s two other leading ladies from his past and future; Winona Ryder and Helena Bonham Carter. Ricci plays the bewitching Catrina quite perfectly.

Keen eyes will spot Burton regular Jeffery Jones as the Reverend, but it’s the bulk of the remaining cast that makes this a winner for me. It’s a British feast of acting chops; Miranda Richardson, Ian McDiarmid, Richard Griffiths and Michael Gambon. Well done if you recognised three of those names from Harry Potter. Yet to be a thing when I watched it the first time, Gambon was not a regular face to me, but clearly someone of calibre. It was upon a later rewatch I cooed ‘Dumbledore’, and of course Miranda Richardson will forever be ‘Queenie’ to me.

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The millennium is almost upon us. In a few months, we will be living in the nineteenth century. But our courts continue to rely on medieval devices of torture.

Style
This was one of the first films that really grabbed me for its stylisation; the tone, the use of camera lenses to add depth and almost a lack of colour to the film and the flashbacks for exposition.
That tree! The tree of the dead; such a wonderful and gruesome focal point for a lot of the film’s second half. It still fascinates me to this day.
The soundtack is one of Danny Elfman’s best work and I long for the day the Royal Albert Hall announce that they will be showing this film with a live orchestra.
There’s something odd and compelling about the use and representation of blood in the film. Going back to consider the filters used on the cameras I did a bit of research and it appears that the liquid used was actually bright orange in order to appear red in the finished film. Again, the physicality to the process can only add to the movie’s brilliance. Especially when you consider how most films would fix this now post-shoot.

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 Kill it! No, no! Stun it!

Christopher Walken
I know he wasn’t the Horseman; there was a stand in/ stunt guy for those headless scenes. However, he is so convincing when on screen; I chose to believe it actually is the legend himself.
He’s a brilliant, yet scary man and perfect casting to round out this amazing movie.

No, you must believe me. It was a horseman, a dead one. Headless.