The Sunshine Blogger Awards

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I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Cat.


RULES

    • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and links back to their blog.

 

    • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

 

    • Nominate 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.

Questions

If you had to describe yourself in 3 words, which ones would they be?

Quirky, geeky & kind

What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been to?

The most beautiful place I’ve been to is the Outer Hebrides. So beautiful and close to nature. I want to go back some day. In fact, is love to spend a year there.

What is your all-time favorite movie?

That would have to be Jurassic Park. When I couldn’t sleep, when I was sick, when it was Thursday. My VHS was watched so much that I broke the plastic panel off the tape part!

It also marked my first ever celeb crush. I don’t think I put a name to how I felt about Joe Mazzello’s Tim Murphy, but it was definitely a crush.

The film isn’t the best made in the world. Hell it’s no longer the best made film in the franchise, but it’s mine and always will be my favourite

If you could have any book or future release in front of you right now, which one would it be?

I would give anything to be able to read Holly Bourne’s The Places I’ve Cried in Public. I can’t explain how important Bourne’s books are to me. After uni, back in 2007 I didn’t think i’d pick up a book again. My reading habits were sporadic until Bourne’s Am I Normal Now?

With that one book I was hooked again and I started sharing books with the students I taught and it all ballooned from there.

I don’t think I’ve been as excited about the release of book since the last Harry Potter was released.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I obviously remember reading the Biff, Chip & Kipper books but the first story I remember reading was Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown.

If you had to switch places with a book villain, which one would it be?

This is so hard. Gretchen Lowell in the Heartsick Series by Chelsea Cain.

What is your favorite place to read?

In a coffee shop in a squishy chair

When did you realize you loved reading?

I never realised… I think its something that’s in my blood. I hadn’t realised how young I was when I realised I loved writing though until I found a Mother’s Day card I’d written when I was about 7 years old.

What is your favorite sweet?

The penny sweets turtles. Man, I love them so much. There was a while when I couldn’t find them anywhere, but thankfully with the internet it’s pretty easy to pick some up when I fancy them.

If you had to permanently move to another country, which one would it be?

It would have to be Slovenia. It’s a completely blissful place, it has ice hockey and everyone seems stress free. Copenhagen would come a close second for similar reasons.

What do you miss right now?

I miss having a someone in my life. I miss going on dates and that fluttery happy feeling you have. I miss movie nights, and pub nights and just generally being someone’s someone. However, I don’t miss the lies or being someone a bloke ‘settles’ for until someone better comes along. I don’t miss the games or the stress of mistrust.


My Questions

 

  1. Which 4 famous people would you invite to a dinner?
  2. You can bring to life one character from a book to be your friend, who are you asking for?
  3. If you were to go on a cooking show like Come Dine With Me, what would you make as your three-course meal?
  4. What book seems to permanently be in your TBR?
  5. What one bookish or film character would you love to see turned into a Pop figure?
  6. Which books/ characters would you love to see in a crossover?
  7. Which unpopular couple do you ship?
  8. What would you put into Room 101?
  9. Do you have any music to read to?
  10. Are you happy to lend out your books?
  11. Money no object, what book would you want to own as a first edition?

Love Han x

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Movie Review Stan & Ollie (2018)

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Length: 1Hr 37
Rating: PG
Release date:11th January 2018
About: Laurel and Hardy — the world’s greatest comedy team — face an uncertain future as their golden era of Hollywood films remain long behind them. Diminished by age, the duo set out to reconnect with their adoring fans by touring variety halls in Britain in 1953. The shows become an instant hit, but Stan and Ollie can’t quite shake the past as long-buried tension and Hardy’s failing health start to threaten their precious partnership.


The Good

  • Steve Coogan and John C Reilly are absolutely perfect as the legendary Laurel and Hardy. There is no one in my mind that could have out performed these two men and it’s truly a shame that it was over looked by so many of the awards.
  • The relationship between Stan and Ollie was beautifully presented and it really broke my heart at some points; forget about this being a nostalgic biopic, it’s a love story that proving that there is so much more to love than romance.
  • I loved the nod to Hardy’s nick name ‘Babe’. Such a sweet name and in a world of toxic masculinity, it was heartwarming to have Stan use it with such affection.
  • The Black Country Museum was used for a number of outside shots. Some people may recognise those locations as being from Peaky Blinders.
  • There’s some beautiful cinematography going on; from the opening scene’s mirrored faces to the shadow dance at the end. It’s a film student’s dream for analysis.

The Bad

  • It’s a rather slow film that feels much longer than it is. While the film had the relationships spot on, the plot and pace needed a good fine tuning.
  • It’s one of those films that will have fans of the duo a little irritated with some of the inaccuracies, while those who are unfamiliar may not feel as completely engaged as they could have been.

The Ugly

  • I think I’ve been spoiled by Bohemian Rhapsody, but I didn’t leave this film as uplifted as much as I thought I should have. Perhaps had the film ended two scenes earlier, but even then I’m not certain.

Final Thoughts

The joy of the film is to be found watching the two main leads, but I perhaps would have liked more of their better days than the tour around the UK. It’s worth a watch and a weep, but I can’t see it being a repeat viewing for many.

The Television Tag

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Another tv tag

lottieiswriting

I was tagged by the wonderful Michelle to take part in The Television Tag. I watch a lot of Netflix, so the vasty majority of the shows I’m mentioning come from there, other than the odd scattering of shows I don’t keep up with any more.


The Television Tag

1. Favourite Shows?

My favourite shows right now, in no particular order, are Altered Carbon, Jessica Jones, Daredevil (RIP), Suits, The Good Place, Punisher, You, and Sex Education.

2. Favourite Genre?

I find it weird, I like everything from Game Of Thrones hardcore fantasy to more contemporary stuff like Suits.

3. Least Favourite Show?

I’m not sure if I really have a least favourite show. I either watch a show or I don’t, so if I’m no longer into a show I just don’t keep up to date with it.

4. Most Re-Watched Show/Favourite…

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TV Tag

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Thank you so much Tanvi @ A Reader to Whatever End for tagging me for this. She clearly knows me very well because this tag is totally perfect for me – I’m a huge TV buff, I have grown up watching lots of soaps and dramas on television and binge watching is my favorite activity other than reading books. Just go ahead and checkout Tanvi’s blog for more amazing book reviews and other wonderful posts.

I have tried but there is going to be a lot of repetition in my answers below, because I’m very picky and have very few favorite shows and I love binge watching them. So, let’s get started.

From https://ksahitya.wordpress.com/about/

I’ve not been tagged. I just found it, liked it, tagged myself!
Hope you enjoy my answers
Han x


Favourite Shows

  • Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – Present) I love this show. I can’t explain my reasons, but this show is my life. From the first ‘seriously’ to undoubtedly teary last narration, this is MY show. I’ve even made a tag for the show, which is my top viewed post to date.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003)
  • Stranger Things (2016 – Present)
  • Glow (2017- Present)
  • Friends (1994 – 2004)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993- 1999)
  • Doctor Who (1963 – Present)
  • Suits (2011 – Present)
  • Line of Duty (2012 Present)
  • Lucifer (2016 – Present)

Favourite Genre

Sci-Fi has always been my genre. Crime/procedural dramas come a very close second, but its Sci-fi that has made me who I am today.

Least Favourite Show

  • Bojack Horseman
  • Archer

Most Rewatched show/ Favourite show to Binge Watch

  • Grey’s Anatomy Every year I start from the beginning and watch all the way through. Most of the time. Sometimes Izzy gets to me and I skip until she’s gone.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Gilmore Girls (2000 – 2007) I’m not sure I like this show all that much, but I find myself binge watching every year or so.
  • White Collar (2009 – 2014)
  • Stranger Things
  • Glow Season two landed on Netflix on a Friday. I put it on with the understanding that I would watch ONE episode… I think it was something like 1am and I’d finished the whole series.

Week-by-week or Binge

It depends. Shows like Line of Duty, Bodyguard and Star Trek Discovery work well as week-by-week as it allows each episode to be thought about and predictions to be made.
However, there are shows that just beg to be binged; whether you want to or not. Netflix shows like Stranger Things and Glow are ones that I binge like hell. Repeatedly.

Favourite TV Character

  • Amelia Shepherd; Private Practice (2007 & 2013) & Grey’s Anatomy. An unpopular choice for those who only have Grey’s to go off, but anyone who has seen the younger brain surgeon face her darkest moments in the Kate Walsh spin-off will understand just how much she’s been though.
  • Dr Julian Bashir; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Chief Jim Hopper; Stranger Things I don’t think I really need to explain this one.

Favourite TV Ships

  • Neal Caffrey and Peter Burke; White Collar This is a total bromance. I love it because it shouldn’t work. Neal’s a conman and Peter’s the man who caught him. However, you just have to watch the emotional exchange in the series one finale to know that these two are soulmates in much the same way as Grey and Yang.
  • Jim and Maggie; The Newsroom (2012 – 2014) One of the reasons why The Newsroom ended too soon is the development of Jim and Maggie’s relationship. They’re one of the will they/ won’t they couples, but we never really get the pay off.
  • Paul and Hugh: Star Trek Discovery I love these two, mainly for the fact that their sexuality is simply there. It’s not commented upon and it allows for a better and deeper exploration of their characters and relationship.

Shows you Couldn’t Get into

  • Black List
  • Dexter
  • Grimm
  • Mr Robot

With both Mr Robot and Dexter, it was about the narration that runs throughout the episodes. I just can’t marry the narrative and the visuals together. It’s a shame because I love both of the main actors.

Shows You Fell Out of Love With

  • Lost (2004 – 2010)
  • Heroes (2006 – 2010)
  • Marvel’s Agents of SHEILD (2013 – Present)
  • Supernatural (2005 – Present)
  • House (2004 – 2012)
  • NCIS (2003 – Present)
  • The Big Bang Theory (2007 – 2019)

With all of these shows I lost interest in the stories and, more importantly, the characters. I shed light on Lost and Heroes in my post here.

Cancelled Too Soon

  • Selfie (2014)
  • Our Zoo (2014) The mini series that looked at the creation and opening of Chester Zoo by the Mottershead family could have easily gone on for a number of series. It was a blow to hear, long after the final episode aired, that there were no plans for a second series.
  • Newsroom There’s no denying that I started to watch this show for David Harbour, but I stuck around because the story had me hooked. Much like West Wing, this Sorkin produced drama was drawing from politically and socially prominent stories. I wasn’t ready for the end and I would happily welcome a recommission.
  • Pan Am (2011 – 2012) Yup, this show also has David Habour on it’s roster, but I did what the first few episodes back in 2011 when it aired late night on BBC2. This is a show that would have fairedsefore we only have 14 episodes of this wonderfully 60s show.

Guilty Pleasure Show

  • Selfie This show was amazing. A modern retelling of My Fair Lady/ Pygmalion with Karen Gillan and John Cho at the helm. Their chemisty and humour make this short-lived so bittersweet. You know Gillan’s Eliza and Cho’s Henry are meant to find each other. Unfortunately time was called on the show early into its run.
  • Once Upon a Time (2011- 2018)
  • Hex (2004- 2005)
  • Switch (2012)

Currently Watching

  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Miracle Workers (2019)
  • The Flash (2014 – Present)
  • Arrow (2012 – Present)
  • Supergirl (2015 – Present)
  • DC’s Legends of Tommorow (2016 – Present)
  • Charmed (2018 – Present)
  • Star Trek Discovery
  • IZombie (2015 – Present)

I’m sure there are others but its hard to think. It’s like naming all of Santa’s reindeer.

Favourite Theme Music

  • Crystal Maze
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • White Collar
  • Hex

The Characters You Love to Hate

  • Jez Heriot and Azazeal; Hex
  • Louis Litt; Suits Oh, Louis! There isn’t a character that’s made me facepalm as much as the Suits antagonist. I love him and his annoying over reactions.
SUITS — “Hitting Home” Episode 507 — Pictured: Rick Hoffman as Louis Litt — (Photo by: Shane Mahood/USA Network)

Favourite Swan Song Episode

  • Hex; S2 Ep13 The Showdown
  • Friends S10 Ep17&18 The Last One: Parts 1 & 2

If you’ve gotten this far, consider yourself tagged.
Drop me a message in the comments. Do you agree with any of my choices? Any shows you think I should give a second chance?

Love Han x

The Television Tag

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My World of Books

Thank you so much Tanvi @ A Reader to Whatever End for tagging me for this. She clearly knows me very well because this tag is totally perfect for me – I’m a huge TV buff, I have grown up watching lots of soaps and dramas on television and binge watching is my favorite activity other than reading books. Just go ahead and checkout Tanvi’s blog for more amazing book reviews and other wonderful posts.

I have tried but there is going to be a lot of repetition in my answers below, because I’m very picky and have very few favorite shows and I love binge watching them. So, let’s get started.


Favorite shows?

img_0214The West Wing is my most favorite of this lifetime and I don’t think that will ever change. It has some of the best characters on television I have ever seen.

Police procedurals are a particular…

View original post 944 more words

TV REVIEW Star Trek Discovery: Series 2 Ep8: If Memory Serves

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Air Date: 7.3.2019
About: Spock and Burnham head to Talos IV, where the process of healing Spock forces the siblings to confront their troubled past. Stamets desperately tries to reconnect with an increasingly disconnected Hugh, while Tyler struggles to shed the crew’s suspicions of him due to his past as Voq.


When the early description of this episode and first images were released for If Memory Serves, I knew this was going to be the episode I was waiting for. I’ve literally been like a kid at Christmas all week. It’s been a long time since I’ve had such anticipation for a TV show.
Little did I know, there was much more to the episode that I didn’t even know I needed.

It all starts with a heartfelt and surprising ‘previously on…’. This isn’t one you’re going to want to skip over this week; creators have edited footage from the Star Trek Original Series pilot The Cage in order to give new audiences a condensed story. It’s charming and tasteful while staying true to the show.

It’s a truly amazing episode and everyone is giving their all. There are two things that make this episode a potential contender come next years awards season.

Michael and Spock

  • Fans get some answers to why the Federation have stopped people from visiting the system; something they’ve been waiting a long time for. Its a great way to open the scene and give Michael, and the audience, further information.
  • Getting onto the planet itself is rather problematic. It leads to a fight between Michael and the catatonic Spock. Its wonderful on so many levels. It adds a touch of humour to a tense storyline, but more importantly; it adds a level of realism to the relationship and, by extension, the show. I just love that intimacy between the siblings that breaks the boundary of being Starfleet.
  • Talos itself is stunning. Yes, its a clear upgrade from The Cage but the set designers have stayed true to the original concepts. Just wait for Michael discovering the plants that emitting a beautiful sound.
  • There’s a familiar face guest starring as the famous Vina; the woman who graced the credits in most of the Original Series run.
  • As part of the story, audiences will get plenty of answers to questions that have remained unanswered. It’s a traumatic process for both Michael and Spock. Both ? and ? are amazing in their roles. Again, my favourite interaction being a point when Spock has regained control of his mind and there’s a verbal sparing between the siblings. The conflict, regret and love between the two characters is clear to see, and its not from a script that this is gained; its the chemistry and interaction between the two actors.

Hugh, Paul and Ash

  • This was the character and relationship exploration I’ve been waiting for. I loved the relationship of Paul and Hugh last series; it was understated and representative (hopefully) of a natural progression of a gay relationship. The show didn’t make it a thing and I found that incredibly beautiful. Then obviously we had to face the loss of
  • When I heard about Hugh’s return, my mind was all a buzz with what the fallout could be. Never, did I think it would be quite so good. I’d imagine it’s an actors dream to be given such a story line to sink their teeth into.
  • Wilson Cruz is heartbreakingly powerful in all of the scenes in this episode. While it’s clear that Hugh is still processing the trauma he has been through and there’s such a lost and stranded tone to Cruz’ performance. I can only begin to imagine what a strain on a person’s sense of self this situation could cause, but Cruz helps make it a little easier.
  • I have been very vocal of Anthony Rapp’s performance since the very first episode here. Over the time, we’ve seen the range and scope of his acting and it did not disappoint. However, the scene in which he brings dinner home to Hugh is just something else. The pain in which Paul asks ‘Why are you angry with me?’ was so raw, that I wanted to reach in and give him a hug. It’s an understandable situation that I’ve seen in real life; When my dad thought he was losing my mum to COPD, there was a change. He took her the cinema, he helped around the house more and, at my insistence, he did not smoke in the same room as her. Paul is so grateful to have Hugh back that he’s trying not to take his second chance for granted. I was moved by Rapp’s performance and how real it felt.
  • I was shocked by the character reveal of Ash Tyler in series 1. Shazad Laitif is an incredible addition to the cast and having him back within the crew was always going to provide some brilliant plot points. In this episode not only we get the knowledgeable security crew member, but we see his vulnerability from his relationship with Michael but also from the actions he can’t take back as Voq.
  • The moment I was waiting for actually took me by surprise for so many reasons. I knew there would come a time in which Ash and Hugh would be in the same room and I imagined so many ways in which it could go. This wasn’t it. I was not expecting this powerful display of anger from Hugh or the resulting fight. However, there was another unexpected response that shocked me completely. At the climax of the fight, Hugh and Ash admitted to each other that neither knows who they are any more. I have so many predictions about this turn of events but for now, all I want to say is that it was one of my favourite scenes in the whole episode because it took me by surprise and was buzzing with energy and potential chemistry.

Final Thoughts, Questions and Predictions

I know, deep down, its a better episode than New Eden but I can’t quite move the second episode of series 2 from my favourite top spot. That said, this has everything you would want from a Star Trek episode. I’ve actually already watched it three times, simply because I enjoyed it so much.

One question that was raised for me was with the reveal that the Red Angel and Spock changed Michael’s fate. I hope the remainder of the series looks into answering the question that the episode raised for me: will there be a consequence for saving Michael’s life?

There’s two ways I feel Hugh’s journey could go. It’s been made clear that there’s a fracture in his and Paul’s relationship, which leaves it open for some romancing on either part.
But the much more interesting relationship development is that of Ash and Hugh. They are both men who have gone through a change at the result of something traumatic and as unconventional as it would be, they really could help each other recover. How that progresses, I’m not sure. Obviously there is the fundamental friendship that could develop from shared trauma, but I don’t think it’s beyond the show to develop a romantic relationship between them. As much as I feel like a Paul/Hugh traitor, I’d be open to them exploring this.


I cannot wait to see what the show has for us next.
Until next week
Love Han x

MARVELous Movie Review: Captain Marvel (2019)

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“Well, Thanos is fucked.”
Anjie J Han/ Twitter

Release: 8 March 2019
Rating: 12
Length: 2Hr 5min
About: Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury, Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls.

The Good

  • Fury’s Benjamin Button trick. I don’t know how well it will hold up to repeated viewings, but I was very impressed with the CGI retro-aging of Samuel L Jackson. In fact, I loved Sam Jackson taking centre stage for an outing on the whole.
  • Brie Larson makes for a sound Captain Marvel and she works well with the script and story she’s given. Larson is able to balance the tone between conflict and humour really well. I’m looking forward to seeing what else she has to offer in the upcoming Endgame.
  • Ben Mendelsohn’s duel character of Talos and Keller.
    Mendelsohn has well established himself as a Hollywood ‘bad guy’ over the last few years. Without going into detail regarding his character’s impact on the plot, Mendelsohn seems to truly enjoy himself in the role. It was awesome to hear his native accent too.
  • The cat, Goose! Move over Groot, we’ve got a new cutie in the MCU. There’s the nice little nod to Top Gun with his naming and he gets added points for reducing Fury to baby talk.
  • 90s vibes; its good to see the 90s in cinematic form. From the costumes, settings and pop culture references its a comfortable setting that brings the fun. The best part is the use of music throughout the whole film. While still not on par with Guardians’ Awesome Mix, it gives it a good fight.

The Bad

  • Coulson’s Benjamin Button routine is not as flawless as Fury’s. Perhaps not as much money/time was spent on Clark Gregg’s youthful glow but it does stand out as a computer rendering.
  • Jude Law gives a good go as Veer’s mentor and he’d even be up in the category above if it wasn’t for the bloody trailers. Yet again, outsourcing the trailer production reveals plot points the film conceals from the audience. It throws off the intended story and takes away any shock factor the director intended.
  • 90s vibes- I feel old! When did the 90s become nostalgia?! I’m not ready to look back on the 90s as if it was 30 years ago. It was only last year we were freaking out about the Millenium Bug, and there’s nothing you can say that will change my mind.
  • Other than Coulson and Fury, it felt a little short on the Easter eggs. If a film is going to retcon an entire franchise, I’d like a little more connections; even just a nod to Stark Snr and Stark Industries would have been enough.

The Ugly

  • Another origin story. It’s old hat now and Spiderman has shown viewers that MCU is more than that. It feels too formulaic 10 years in and I’m really tired of the check-box approach to plotting.
  • The storytelling seemed clunky, messy and, at times, painfully slow- the first 40 minutes really needed a good editing. While I like its use of flashbacks, it felt a little bluff on a double bluff by the time Larson lands on Earth.
  • The comedy is as jarring as ever. This time it was a dick joke: do we really need Fury checking out the dead dudes junk and comparing sizes?! I laughed, don’t get me wrong. I laughed louder than anyone else, but it was hollow and cheap; leaving a bitter after taste.
  • As always, the film falls down when it comes to its villian/s. The motivation or even the origin of the ‘bad guys’ is rather unclear and is left somewhat unresolved; which doesn’t help this film fit within the MCU timeline as smoothly as we were assured it would.
  • The dedication- this being the first movie out since the great Lee’s passing, Marvel have something heartfelt for the franchise’s creator. It had me ugly crying

Final Thoughts

It’s not the amazing outing it could have been. While there’s things I know of Captain Marvel that could come into play when we come to sit down for Endgame in May, I’m not certain there was anything in this film that gave me hope that she’ll be the saviour audience’s say she’ll be.
What I will say, if a character is going to take the glory from any of the long standing Avengers, it better be that damn cat!

Have you seen it?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments.

Love Han x

TV REVIEWS Star Trek Discovery S2 Ep7 Light and Shadows

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Air Date: 28.2.2019
About: Burnham goes to Vulcan in search of Spock, where she unearths surprising family secrets. In researching what is left of the Red Angel’s signal over Kaminar, Pike and Tyler end up in battle with time itself. Georgiou has a few tricks up her sleeve for Leland and Section 31.

Spoilers Ahead

The episode has gone back to having two very distinct plot lines, and it feels all the better for it.

Michael and Spock

Michael’s trip to Vulcan is much more rewarding than I was expecting it to be. Having watched the OS episode Journey to Babel earlier in the week, I was able to truly appreciate how well the casting was.
Sonuqua Martin-Green’s performance in this episode is quite simply perfect; she is able to portray a human raised in a Vulcan environment with such emotive force that I was reduced to tears. Her relationship with Spock is something I want, and need, to see more of.

I’m a little unsure as to why Michael agreed to take Spock straight to Section 31. I’ve trusted her judgement since that first episode and it saddens me somewhat that Michael doubts herself. I’m also quite curious that it wasn’t the Black Ops that tried to recruit her.

I feel like we’ve been lacking hand to hand combat this series, so it was amazing to see Michael face off with Phillipa. It’s well choreographed and that final head smash made me gasp.

Michael’s episode ends with her discovering the numbers Spock is repeating are indeed pointing at a place. One I’m excited, yet equally nervous to visit. Done well, this is going to be an amazing following episode that may even answer questions left unanswered by the Original Series.

Pike, Ash and Disco Crew

I’ve always loved temporal disturbance plots and this episode is no exception. Mainly because it has all my favourite Discovery elements:

  • Tilly being her passionate geeky self
  • Saru being the authoritative, repressed mentor
  • Pike being the best god damn Captain I’ve experienced in Trek history. That twist of a smile when he responds to Tilly’s curse is just … well, it’s what I’d want in a leader
  • Stamets and his amazing brain
  • Pike butting heads with Ash
  • A resolution with progression

I still feel that unease when it comes to the Red Angel. It feels as if it’s something that is hiding plain sight and I’m going to kick myself when it comes to the reveal. I do get a sense that it is coming to a head, but all its doing is making me wish I could binge watch the rest of the series.

Final Thoughts

Another strong episode that adds to the ongoing story. It was lacking any feature of Henry and Wilson Cruz was sorely missed. I need an episode focused on him soon and I certainly need a scene with Henry and Ash! I’m nervous about how badly it will go and I just need it out the way.

Love Han x


TV REVIEW Star Trek Discovery: Series 2 Ep 6 The Sound of Thunder

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Sorry for the delay. I’ve had a difficult week and a bit sleep-wise so it meant I had to watch the episode twice before writing my review. All should be back to running normally next week, but today you get a double dose of reviews.

I actually wasn’t sure about this episode when I first watched it and I can only think it was that I wasn’t in the right mind-set for such an emotional-wrought story line.
Saru’s journey within this episode is quite incredible. We see his relationship with Michael strengthen once more; there’s a heartwarming scene in which he takes Michael to meet his sister. It’s charming and gives us such a depth to Saru’s character.

The plot involving the seemingly superior Ba’ul is incredibly reminiscent of stories you’ll have seen before; Antz, Bug’s Life and many others all cover this idea of a weak group being strong, if only they work together and accept they can be more.
What I did enjoy with this retelling of the underdog is that it wasn’t always that way and the ethical situation Discovery find themselves in when faced with being a bystander to genocide.

The Ba’ul leader! Bloody hell, he was scary. The look is absolutely terrifying on its own, but then you add that voice that will cause nightmares for weeks to come. It’s hard to see that they were once the prey on the planet- gulp!

The episode resolves with a heartfelt goodbye between Saru and his sister. I’m hoping that the journey within this episode will ensure we gain a balance between his mild mannered and volatile self. I guess only time will tell.

My only issue with the episode is in regards to Hugh Culber. The first scene is okay and fits well within Saru’s story. However, this was not an episode that could fit in a secondary storyline, so the second scene which has such a beautiful story that explains how Hugh came to be a doctor feels a little out of place and clunky. What I felt it needed was either a resolution with an additional scene at the end or the second scene removed.
It’s something I probably wouldn’t have noticed had the previous episodes been quite so high quality. It’s not that I don’t want to see Hugh either, its an incredible story and I’m itching to have an episode that focuses on both him and Stamets. However, these out of place scenes don’t do the character’s justice.

Its a well made episode, with only a few missteps. It was quite nice to have a break from the search for Spock and have an almost ‘bottle episode’ on a planet. I’m also strangely loving the clashing of Pike and Ash; long may it continue.

February Wrap Up

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Books I Got

  • Extinction Trials: Rebel by S. M. Wilson (Usborne Purchase)
  • Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M McManus (Penguin Purchase)
  • Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman (Black & White Publishing Net Galley)
  • Widows by Lynda La Plante (Bonnier Zaffre Book Post)
  • Widows’ Revenge by Lynda La Plante (Bonnier Zaffre Net Galley)
  • Star World byAudrey Coulthurst & Paula Garner (Candlewick Press Net Galley)
  • Meat Market by Juno Dawson (Quercus Children’s Books Net Galley)
  • Emily Eternal by M G Wheaton (Hodder & Stoughton Net Galley)
  • On the Come Up by Angie (Walker Books Wildest Dreams Book Box)
  • Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury (Scholastic Competition Book Post)
  • Cursed by Karol Ruth Silverstein (Charlesbridge Teen Net Galley)
  • Bible Journaling for the Fine Artist by Melissa Fischer, Kate Peiffer (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Little People, Big Dreams. Stephen Hawking by Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Little People, Big Dreams. Muhammad Ali by Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Brosmind (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Little People, Big Dreams Rosa Parks by Lisbeth Kaiser (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Little People, Big Dreams Emmeline Pankhurst by Lisbeth Kaiser
    (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Little People, Big Dreams Ella Fitzgerald by Isabel Sanchez Vegara & Bàrbara Alca
    (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer (Bloomsbury Charity Shop buy)
  • The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler (Simon & Schuster Charity Shop buy)
  • Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron (Pan Macmillan Net Galley)
  • We Won an Island by Charlotte Lo (Nosy Crow Book Post)
  • Home Girl by Alex Wheatle (Little Brown Group Net Galley)
  • Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence (Hodder Charity Shop buy)
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer (Pan Macmillan Charity Shop buy)
  • Black Music Greats by Olivier Cachin (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Your Mind is Like the Sky by Bronwen Ballard (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • The Woolly Monkey Mysteries by Sandra Markle (Millbrook Press Net Galley)
  • The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi (St Martins Press Net Galley)
  • The Grace Year by Kim Liggett (St Martins Press Net Galley)
  • The Sages of Chelm and the Moon by Shlomo Abas (Green Bean Books Net Galley)
  • The Bet Between Us by Brandon Moore (B L Moore Net Galley)
  • Wolf Light by Yaba Badoe (Zephyr Net Galley)
  • Little Bear Wants to Grow by Judith Koppens (Clavis Publishing Net Galley)
  • Darksoul Anna Stephens (Harper Collins Net Galley)
  • Bright Start – Feel Better Daddy by Nancy Loewen; Hazel Michelle Quintanilla (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Bright Start – A Thank You Walk by Nancy Loewen (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • The Story of People by Catherine Barr, Steve Williams (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • The Lost Book of Adventure by Unknown Adventurer (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Wish by Chris Saunders (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • The Cave by Rob Hodgson (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • The School of Numbers by Emily Hawkins (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Brilliant Ideas From Wonderful Women by Aitziber Lopez (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • What Do Machines Do All Day by Jo Nelson (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Read to Your Baby Every Day by Chloe Giordano (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Maria Montessori by Isabel Sanchez Vegara; Raquel Martín (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Ada Lovelace by Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Zafouko Yamamoto (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • The Near Witch by V.E Schwab (Titan Books Book Post)
  • The Toy Makers by Robert Dinsdale (Penguin Purchase)
  • A Girl Called Shameless by Laura Steven (EgmontPurchase)
  • Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday by Laura Ellen Anderson (Egmont Publishing Net Galley)
  • Presley the Pug Relaxation Activity Book by Karen Treisman (Jessica Kingsley Publishers Net Galley)
  • Opposite of Always by justin a. reynolds (Pan Macmillan Net Galley)
  • The Furies by Katie Lowe (Harper Collins Net Galley)
  • Handcrafted Cocktails by Molly Wellmann (F + W Media Net Galley)
  • Crazy Beautiful Letters by Judith Graves (Sassy Lassie Designs Net Galley)
  • 100 Things You Don’t Know About Atlantic Canada (for Kids) by Sarah Sawler (Nimbus Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Steak and Cake by Elizabeth Karmel (Workman Publishing Company Net Galley)
  • The Happiness Diary by Barbara Ann Kipfer (Quarto Publishing Group Net Galley)
  • Darksoul by Anna Stephens (Harper Collins Net Galley)
  • Music and Malice in Hurricane Town by Alex Bell (Stripes Publishing Net Galley)
  • The Crying Machine by Greg Chivers (Harper Collins Net Galley)
  • The War Blog by Glen Sobey (Black Rose Writing Net Galley)

Library Loans

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Pan Macmillan)
  • Wildcard by Marie Lu (Penguin)

Books I Read

  • Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
  • Extinction Trials: Rebel by S. M. Wilson
  • Monsters in the Mirror by A J Hartley
  • Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M McManus
  • Meat Market by Juno Dawson
  • Widows by Lynda La Plante
  • The Lost Book of Adventure by Unknown Adventurer
  • Wish by Chris Saunders
  • The Cave by Rob Hodgson
  • The School of Numbers by Emily Hawkins
  • Brilliant Ideas From Wonderful Women by Aitziber Lopez
  • What Do Machines Do All Day by Jo Nelson
  • Maria Montessori by Isabel Sanchez Vegara; Raquel Martín
  • Ada Lovelace by Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Zafouko Yamamoto
  • Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron
  • We Won an Island by Charlotte Lo
  • Little Bear Wants to Grow by Judith Koppens
  • The Magic Misfits: The Second Story by Neil Parick Harris

Books for March

  • Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Pena
  • Emily Eternal by M G Wheaton

Goodreads total:

Its been an amazing book month and I’m 23 books ahead of schedule, which is beyond amazing. That said, I’ve been finding it really hard to focus and setting myself a massive TBR last month was a big mistake; I think I’ve only read one out of it.
I’m hoping to get my reading speed up this month and be distracted less by my phone. I also need to get the final chapter from my fan fiction written and published.

Love Han x

Marvelous Movie Reviews: Iron Man 2 (2010)

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“The suit and I are one.”
Tony Stark

Release: 30 April 2010
Rating: 12
Length: 2Hr 4min
About: With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from all sides to share his technology with the military. He is reluctant to divulge the secrets of his armored suit, fearing the information will fall into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) by his side, Tony must forge new alliances and confront a powerful new enemy.

The Good

  • The biggest highlight for me is the casting; both Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell are amazing as this installment’s bag guys. I’ll admit, I still struggled to hear everything Rourke was saying but I didn’t mind once the subtitles were on.
  • Tony is even more Howard Hughes than ever and I love the entrance to the Expo. Its a brilliant way of showing his approach to his superhero life.
  • The humour in the court hearing is rather pitch perfect. It’s on the right side of tongue in cheek; from the comment that nods to the casting change of Rhodey to the responses given to Senator Trump Stern.
  • I don’t think I picked up on this in the first outing, but I love the Red Dwarf-like robots Tony has in his basement.
  • We get more Happy and Black Widow’s introduction is rather subtle for newbies, allowing them to be on side with Stark, while remaining perfect for fans in the know.
  • The CGI of the wrecked car at the Monaco Grand Prix is still as breath taking as it was on the big screen. It’s hard not to wonder what went wrong with the graphics department down the line.
  • As Tony becomes reckless, it allows Rhodey to have more to do. There’s a few scenes between Rob DJ and Don Cheadle that are rather beautiful, sincere and something I feel is missing from some of the later movies.
  • Have to give a shout out to Queen for the vocals to the fight sequence between a drunk Tony and Rhodey. THIS was a better Civil War than, well, Civil War.
  • “I don’t want to join your super secret boy band.” – I love the relationship between Stark and Fury. It’s like an angry uncle and a rebellious nephew. It’s something the film could have done with more of.
  • Okay, I briefly mentioned Sam Rockwell at the beginning but of all the anti-heroes, Justin Hammer is quite possibly my favourite. Perhaps its because his motivation is pure stupidity and a drive for power that he should never have. He’s the guy you meet wherever you work, shop or play. He’s the guy who thinks he means well, has charm but he wouldn’t think twice about throwing his nanna under the bus. He’s a big dick; a brilliant, snivelling, brown nosing dick. And who better to handle this character than Sam Rockwell?!

The Bad

  • What is with Mickey Rourke’s Corey Feldman skunk stripe?! Don’t get me wrong, Rourke has my admiration for The Wrestler and I’m sure it’s more to do with the costume department, but I want to chop it off.
  • The opening exposition wasn’t as clear as with Hulk and, as a result, I missed Ivan’s beef against Stark. It was over an hour in before I made sense of his one-man war path.
  • Paltrow’s Pepper Potts is a little too loud and shouty in this outing. Her freaking out in the car really doesn’t fit with what was otherwise a flawless scene.
  • Coulson was a bit pointless in this. It felt too forced “Hi, I’m coming to tell you I can’t stay.”…. okay. I get the feeling it was to prepare the way for the sting, but he wasn’t required in the film proper for that to happen. That said, I do love Gregg Clark so I shouldn’t really complain.
  • Happy and Black Widow! We so need more of those two together. It was the best part of the god damn movie.

The Ugly

  • I feel as if there’s a bit of a continuity error when it comes to Stark’s involvement in the Avengers Initiative. He was very much involved within the sting of Hulk, but this film seems to ignore that.
  • Its still the same ending; bigger, meaner version of the hero. Only this time they pressed the copy button. It’s already feeling stagnant when it comes to the bad guys.
  • This could be where the problems with Black Widow start. Both Happy and Tony fawn over her; even Potts mentions how it was a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Final Thoughts

My opinion has improved some what since the first, and last, time I watched this. To be fair, I was so bored that I left my boyfriend-at-the-time in the screen and went for a walk. Twice. What I will say though is that I wasn’t the hard core Marvel CINEMATIC Universe fan until Joss Whedon gave me Assemble.
It still has its faults, but I must say I actually enjoyed it much more… even if I did have to watch it in two sections.

Next up, as the sting revealed, is Thor.

Love Han x

Blog Tour Book Review: Monsters in the Mirror

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Publisher: UCLan Publishing
Pages: 424
Release Date: 1.3.2019
About: Darwen Arkwright’s world is turned upside down when he is forced to move from a small English town to Atlanta in the United States of America. Feeling out of place and struggling to fit in at school, Darwen seeks solace in a mysterious shop full of mirrors. It’s there that he discovers the ability to step through mirrors in to different worlds – worlds beyond his wildest imagination. Darwen befriends creatures including Moth, a tiny being with mechanical wings, but he soon learns that there is a terrible darkness threatening this new world…and only he can save it.The problem with doors is that they open both ways. There are monsters inside, and some of them are trying to get out…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Monsters-Mirror-1-Beyond/dp/099551559X

I fell in love with Dawen, his world and the story almost immediately and I couldn’t put it down. From the first page, you’re thrown into the story and it doesn’t let up until you close the book on the final page.

It holds a nostalgic magic that’s not only reminiscent of Snicket and Potter, but of one of my favourite childhood book series; the Shivers collection. They were an alternative to Point Horror and they were my go to. My favourite of them all was Madness at the Mall and Monsters in the Mirror really gave me such a throwback to it that I’ve been searching my bookshelves ever since.

Monsters in the Mirror would be an upgraded, movie quality version of those delightfully scary books of my childhood. With a chilling reminder of Return to Oz, I was hooked with both worlds presented and I really would love to see this being made into a TV progamme with 90s vibes. The worlds are artfully and passionately built that I dare people not to love them.

It’s a perfectly set out plot, that sees the protagonist develop relationships that have a fulfilling arc over the whole book while also laying a foundation for whatever comes next. Which, believe me, I’ll be here waiting for any news of an upcoming release date.

Its a story for all, but most of all… this could be the book series that gets parents recommending books to their children, digging out their old paperbacks and sharing them with a new generation of readers.