Tag: Sequel

INFINITY WAR Aftershock

This girl is an Avengers fan (as far as the Marvel movie universe goes, anyway). So, I’ve been counting down the days until I could see the latest film.

Some people I know and love went to see it on opening night. Two of them were actually going to the movies with me and my husband when we saw it two days later.

But I can’t blame people for being excited. I did the same thing with the Wonder Woman film last summer.

Here’s some non-spoiler things they said about the movie:

SON: Have you seen THOR RAGNAROK?

ME: Yep. Twice. Cracks me up every time.

SON: It starts right where that one left off (if you stayed to watch the after-credits scene).

ME: I know some people are going to die.

DAUGHTER: Yeah, I even cried.

ME: (Gulps) As long as Cap doesn’t die…

DAUGHTER: Yeah. You’re not going to like it.

WHAT! I was totally worried they were going to kill off Captain America after that tidbit.

A later conversation with someone who hadn’t seen the movie yet. He just happens to be a comic book reader (more power to him, but comic books give me a headache.) I want words. Or I want pictures.

ME: So what happens in the comic book.

NEPHEW: Thanos wins.

ME: Well, that’s not right. What about the Avengers?

NEPHEW: Everybody dies.

HELP! I’m drowning in suspenseful dread at this point.

Just to confirm that I wouldn’t throw something in the theater or leave screaming, I had another conversation with my kids who’d already seen the story.

ME: Is there at least a complete story?

SON: *pauses to think* Yeah. It’s not a cliffhanger ending, but you know there has to be more coming.

ME: Then whose story is it.

DAUGHTER: Everyone’s.

ME: No. That’s not the way it works. If you had to pick someone, whose story would it be.

SON: Thanos

ME: (inside my head) ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I’M NOT PAYING TO GO SEE SOME VILLAIN’S STORY.

DAUGHTER: Yeah, but it’s kind of Thor’s story, too.

ME: (sighs in relief)

And then we showed up at the theater at 6:30 pm on Sunday for our 7:00 showing of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.

I was ready for this. I’d been counting down the days. There’s no way I was going to let a few cryptic remarks get me down.

After 20 minutes of previews ( I wish I was joking about this), I’m about ready to march up to the tech booth (or whatever it’s called) and force the movie to start.

After watching the movie, there are still TWO I don’t get.

Two hours later, I’m speechless. Shocked. Stunned. Unsure how to even comprehend what the Marvel writers were thinking.

It’s the morning after now. I’m still contemplating the ramifications of this film. 

A review will come on this very blog later. But first, I need to watch the movie again and decide if I like it or not.

Have you seen it? Did you like it? Only non-spoiler comments in response to these questions please–and thank you.

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Kagawa’s story of dragons living among us has been on my to be read list since I first read its description. Yes, I’m talking about Talon.

When it came, it appeared on my Overdrive app just in time for the weekend. *sigh*

Summary

Ember and her twin brother are on the last leg of their training. If they can successfully assimilate into human society, they will earn their position in Talon, the international organization of dragons.

Ember wants to taste freedom. She befriends the locals and finds a love of surfing. Not as good as flying above the waves-which is forbidden-but enthralling nonetheless.

Her summer is cut short by the arrival of adult dragons to train her and her brother. Separately. Wait a minute! They’ve done everything together for their entire sixteen years of life.

Soon, Ember is chomping at the restraints Talon places on her. Encouraged to defy their rules by a rogue dragon, she finds herself doubting everything she knows about dragons and drifting further from her beloved brother.

Enter the spies from St. George, the dragon hunter’s organization. Garret is known as the Perfect Soldier, but when Ember pushes him to embrace living, unexpected emotions – and doubts of his own – emerge.

Review

Kagawa creates two complex organizations with ideologies that diametrically oppose each other. She throws a teenager from each together. Conflict results. This conflict is central to the story and really the best part of the book.

The two secret societies battling each other is a perfect backdrop for this novel. What do teenagers care about some remote war?

Ember wants freedom. She’s not going to find it in Talon. Ever.

For Garret, he’s been a soldier his whole life. He learned to kill dragons at 14 and has more kills than anyone his age. But is there more to life than hunting the beasts that killed his family?

Some reviewers complained about the ease with which Dante and Ember fit into human society since they’d lived in isolation for sixteen years. Ember’s inner thoughts made it believable to me. Dragons have a natural chemistry for soothing people, easing in, making people trust them.

I enjoyed viewing the dragon society through the different eyes of the three narrators. Is Talon the evil organization the rogue dragon believes? Is there a greater purpose behind their disguises? Those answers must wait for the sequel.

Usually, I’m not a fan of love triangles. In this case, it didn’t bother me (as much) because it was obvious that Ember had a duality – dragon and human. Each side of her preferred the guy from its race.

I wasn’t thrilled with the ending because, while the story question was resolved, it introduced the problem for the sequel. Was she afraid we wouldn’t read the next book unless she wrote it this way?

It still earned 4.5 out of five stars from me because I loved the characters, the conflict, and the constant tension. Were there unbelievable moments? Not enough to throw me out of the story.

But I predicted the outcome fairly early on (although I didn’t guess every angle). And the ending could have been stronger.

Recommendation

If you love dragons, you want to read this book. They are everything you expect while being unexpected in their human disguises.

If you like snarky heroines, you will enjoy this book. Ember Hill has attitude. Being inside her head made for a great ride.

This book has violence but it’s handled with taste and delicacy, so the story is suitable for younger teenagers. The romantic element is secondary to the character development. A PG read in that respect too.

The biggest drawback of this book – the library didn’t have a copy of the sequel available for me to check out.

Rogue, consider yourself added to my TBR list.

Book Review: Rebel Heart

rebel heartSince I reviewed Moira Young’s first novel here, I thought I’d check in with readers about the sequel. The series is called Dust Lands and it looks like it will be a trilogy.

The book starts from Jack’s point of view, which is a good choice on Young’s part. He’s said to “betray” Saba in the flap copy, so seeing where that begins gives the reader sympathy for him. Later, more evidence piles up against him and Saba “sees” his betrayal with her own eyes. Her goal in this book is to find Jack, just like finding her brother was the goal in the first novel.

Saba disregards everyone – pretty much like before – to set out on her rescue mission. Of course, her brother and sister refuse to be left behind (did she really think she could leave them?) so they end up facing danger with her.

This time, the dystopian adventure goes awry. Through foreshadowing, the reader expects Saba to make another connection with Demalo, who is now the leader of New Eden and a new movement to remove the aged, infirm and unsavory from the planned Paradise. He’s put a price on her head, but she keeps dreaming about him.

It would have been nice if Saba could have kept one redeeming quality by the end of this sequel.  Unfortunately, I was sitting with Tommo by the campfire, sharing his spiteful thoughts: “Hurt. Betrayed. Decieved.”

As I write this, I’m rethinking my earlier assessment that Saba blows Katniss out of the water in terms of heroic qualities. It seems Young goes just a little too far trying to give Saba flaws. By the end of this book, only Jack is still talking to her, and we’re all imagining he wouldn’t be if he knew how she had betrayed him.

If you read the book, please chime in here and let me know what you think. It isn’t that I didn’t enjoy reading it; I was just frustrated that we still didn’t figure out Lugh’s issues and that Saba acted like a self-centered, lovelorn teenager, and she seemed so far above that in the first book.

Source: Young, Moira. Dust Lands: Rebel Heart. New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Pubishing Division, 2012. Print.