Thursday, December 31, 2015

Review: The Abomination

The Abomination The Abomination by Jonathan Holt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've seen a few reviewers compare this one to both Dan Brown (for the Catholic conspiracy elements) and Stieg Larsson (for the European crime drama, although it's Southern European here as opposed to Scandinavian Noir.) I'd also like to throw in some comparisons to James Rollins (tough female carabinieri in the lead role) and Preston and Child (for sheer food porn. Seriously, Mr. Holt really loves going into detail when describing exotic Venetian dishes - spaghetti ai ricci di mare, anyone?)

I was just a tad bit disappointed that there wasn't as much done with Carnivia as I expected, nor did the book dabble as much in the supernatural side of the Gothic as I was hoping it would, for whatever reason. Bloody and gory and murderous and warlike it may have been, but it still felt more grounded than I thought it would. Not that that's a bad thing, of course.

Well, there's always Books 2 and 3.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My 2015 Favorites: The First Annual Pinecone Awards!

2015 has been a great year in every segment of pop-culture to which I'm closely in tune. It's hard to pick a Top 5 in every category, but pick them I have. After careful consideration, Pinecones, I have my favorites of the year - the winners of the first-ever Pinecone Awards!

Let's get started with the most important category of all to writers like me...


Honorable Mentions: More Happy Than Not, Career of Evil, The Sword of Summer, The Fate of Ten, Queen of Shadows

5. Although my reading and writing tastes largely run towards YA - gotta know what's good among the competition, am I right? - I don't exclusively read and/or write in this age group. And among this year's bumper crop of adult-oriented books, the last one I've read to date has stood out the most for its blood-curdling horror, Lovecraft-country setting, and some of the most delicious fictional food not cooked by ol' Hannibal the Cannibal. I give you Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's fifteenth Agent Pendergast novel, Crimson Shore.

Oysters, anyone?

4. And now for the first in my favorite new YA titles of the year. This one was a kick-ass debut that began the year as one of the most anticipated new releases, and I'm fully convinced that it was well worth the hype, as are many of my fellow readers and writers. It helps that its author, Victoria Aveyard, has excellent taste in just about everything under the sun, so you know she's got great influences going into her take on fantasy-dystopian, which has already expanded from a planned trilogy to at least a tetralogy. I give you...Red Queen.

Watch that tiara drip. Watch it, I say!

3. Also riding high on the fantasy-dystopian wave is Marissa Meyer, who's spent the last several years deftly interweaving several fairy tales into a Sailor Moon-inspired futuristic magic-and-science setting. Think Once Upon A Time but better, because everything's better with cyborgs and evil Lunar fae. It's a shame that this series is now over, except for a final release of all the exclusive e-novellas in print, but stars above, did Winter end The Lunar Chronicles in epic, intense, action-packed fashion or what?

Behold the poisoned, purple-leafed apple!

2. Another magnificent series conclusion this year came to us from literature's finest vintage-photo collector, Ransom Riggs. Library of Souls finished the Miss Peregrine trilogy with twists, turns, and feels aplenty - especially in its final fifty pages or so. But for fun factor, there's no better moment than the scene where Fleetwood Mac's "You Make Loving Fun" makes an unexpected cameo appearance. Now, all we have to do is wait for the release of the long-awaited Tim Burton-directed movie this time next year.

#StayPeculiar, my friends.

1. And finally, this year's most magnificent book. Following in the footsteps of Breaking Bad, this book turns its good guy into a bad guy, and until the very last minute, you can't help but root for her anyway, even though you know that's not gonna last. Marie Lu outdid herself this year, Pinecones, in The Rose Society.

Sorry, mi Adelinetta, but...
I love you, don't hate me!


Honorable Mentions: Chappie, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Jurassic World, Goosebumps, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

5. The summer movie season this year...some might say it began with the unexpected smash-hit success of Furious 7. But we all know the party don't start till Stark walks in, and this year's Marvel May masterpiece was no exception. It's no Amazing Spider-Man 2 in my eyes, but there's no denying the balls-to-the-wall awesomeness that is Age of Ultron.

"There strings on me..."

4. Topping Age of Ultron, though, was the second major Marvel movie of the year. It was smaller and more standalone, and therefore more accessible. And, even better, it jacked up the laughs in the vein of Guardians of the Galaxy - always a plus, yeah? Say hello to Ant-Man!

"How do I shr-WHOAHOLYSHIT!"

3. With a powerful message of following your dreams and doing good in the world, it's no wonder Disney's big live-action project under their own name flopped at the box office. People are just too cynical these days, am I right or am I right? Still, I'm convinced that one day, Tomorrowland will be well and truly Vindicated by History.

Should I be embarrassed that I have the threads to cosplay as a male Casey?
Signs point to no.

2. Faithfulness to the source material is, normally, a must for any book-to-film adaptation. For every rule, though, there's an exception. This exception is The Scorch Trials. The movie tells a more intense, high-action story than the original novel, and the stunning visuals are only an improvement.

Tommy's going to use that electric tazer rifle, you know.

1. And of course the best movie of the year...The Force Awakens. 'Nuff said.

From the movie's best scene. :D


Honorable Mentions: Teen Wolf, Under The Dome, Survivor: Second Chance, Limitless, Mr. Robot

5. One of the most-beloved shows out there right now is rife with flaws - chief among them, an occasional tendency to lapse into sluggish, poor pacing. But when it overcomes those flaws, even for just one episode...they go all-out on the high-potential zombie apocalypse we all know The Walking Dead truly is.


4. There's only one show on the CW my dad will freely watch with me, which says a lot about the widespread appeal of their most underrated show by far. (Well, maybe iZombie, but...yeah, no, I gotta go with this one.) For taking a dark post-apocalypse and getting even more black-hearted and blood-stained, I award the next TV Pinecone to The 100.

Not unlike The Scorch Trials,
it's an exception to the "must-be-faithful" rule.

3. Marvel's flagship series continues to impress for most of the year - that is, for 2-3 month chunks each fall and spring now - but when it was on hiatus this year, we had some new material to fill in the time. Agent Carter got lower ratings than Agents of SHIELD, but it also, deservedly, received greater critical acclaim. The world needs more Hayley Atwell, and this series, further fleshing out the MCU as a more direct sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger, is the perfect vehicle for her dazzling acting talents.

But not to those who matter, of course.

2. On January 6th of this year, America's broadcast airwaves were graced with the presence of two of the most awesome single hours of television ever. One of these was the premiere of the aforementioned Agent Carter. And the other was the single most WTF episode of anything that wasn't Lost or Fringe or Sherlock. I'm talking about "If-Then-Else," from the one show that CBS should have absolutely NOT left off the fall schedule this year, because I miss it so much now, as does my dad. I'm talking, of course, about Person of Interest.

Finch: "It's got a lot on its miiiiiiiind..."
Viewer: Oh crap, here we go again...I cannot handle! :O

1. But whereas Person of Interest jam-packed so much awesome into one episode, my favorite show of 2015 did that for almost every single episode it aired this year. None more so, though, than the fifteenth episode of Season 1, the final moments of which had me positively screaming - SCREAMING! - at the screen. A 9.8 on IMDb can't be wrong, can it? Well, "If-Then-Else" beats it out with an official 9.9, but for me, "Out of Time" serves up nothing less than a perfect 10 for The Flash.

This was just the first taste of the shock and awe to come that night.


5. For a long time, they've been one of my favorite bands. I've come to expect new material of theirs every three years, so you can imagine my surprise when they resurfaced this year, about 18 months after their Ghost Stories album, with the lead single from A Head Full of Dreams at long last. With this addicting, Daft-Punk-esque disco-rock number, it's a welcome, positive, and oh-so-life-affirming return from Coldplay - "Adventure of a Lifetime."

"'Cause you make me feel like I'm alive again!"

4. Relentlessly stuck in my head more than any other song from the Smoke + Mirrors album is this indescribably awesome, genre-defying stomper. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Here it is: Imagine Dragons, "Gold."

"First comes the blessing of all that you've dreamed
But then come the curses of diamonds and rings..."

3. It even makes little doggies cry - and we humans are so cruel that we just laugh at her use of a flip phone in the video. For shame. Adele, "Hello."

"They say that time's supposed to heal ya,
But I ain't done much healin'."

2. Thank God this wasn't limited to just being on the Big Hero 6 soundtrack - that movie's theme song was way too good to not be included on American Beauty/American Psycho! Fall Out Boy, "Immortals."

"I'm bad behavior, but I do it in the best way!"
1. And to round out my list, the most rip-roaring, guitar-shredding, scream-tastic song that didn't make it to the radio - because even Matt Bellamy said it, it was "too offensive." All other songs, move aside for Muse, "Psycho."


And that concludes my list of Pinecone Award winners! Hard to believe 2015's already over...and tomorrow night, we'll be celebrating the start of another year! Here's hoping for 2016 to be an even better year for this world! :D

Till next time, Pinecones...

Remember: Denis Leary is always watching. Always.

Review: Crimson Shore

Crimson Shore Crimson Shore by Douglas Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Welcome back to the weird and wonderful world of Agent Pendergast - in his best adventure in years. I know, I've thrown that title around quite a lot in recent years, but compared to any other Pendergast book in a long time, this one's really outdone its predecessors big-time. Not only is it one of the more lush and lovely entries in the series - you can just smell the salt marshes and fish of its New England setting - but it's also one of the most downright disturbing since at least Still Life With Crows. And, best of all, it ends on one of the most massive cliffhangers in this series' history, in which a villain who's been dead for a very long time (although Pendergast believes otherwise) resurfaces in a very big way.

Next year's going to be a banner year for Preston and Child, between the inevitable wild follow-up to this book and Beyond the Ice Limit. But without their work this year on Crimson Shore, it wouldn't be possible for them to set up that kind of double-shot of excellence.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Review: Name of the Devil

Name of the Devil Name of the Devil by Andrew Mayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chalk up another horror-tinged murder mystery of mayhem from Mr. Mayne. Let's just say that because I read this mostly on Christmas Day, I'm going to Hell for sure. It's like Grasshopper Jungle on Easter Sunday all over again.

I hope a third Jessica Blackwood book comes along soon - these obscure stories are too good to pass up.

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Review: The Shadow Prince

The Shadow Prince The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first, I found the Haden chapters to be the book's weak point, until he and his little entourage began their work on How To Pass For Human. Hilariously, they failed in a lot of key ways, and their initial reactions to just about everything - Teslas, iPhones, etc. - were amusing as Tartarus.

Then, as the book moved on and Haden and Daphne's interactions grew more interesting, the story really picked up. In particular - the revelations triggered by the "Requiem for Dead Mothers" song. I was honestly surprised by the unexpected level of feels from that one.

And with the biggest revelations of all re: the Greek gods as reimagined in this book...Percy Jackson it ain't, but not in a bad way at all.

I'll be reading the second book soon. Stay tuned!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Force Awakens: Mr. Abrams' Magnum Opus

(PLEASE NOTE: While I'm sure most people reading this review will have already seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, for those who haven't, I'm endeavoring to keep things spoiler-free.)

True story: today, I finally got to see the most hyped, most amazing, all-around best movie of 2015. And when I got home, my mom, because she's not quite as into Star Wars as I am, decided to ask about the group I saw the movie with, and - I kid you not - one of her top questions was, "So, any girlfriend prospects?" I think she's just as tired as everyone else of my constant lamenting about my perpetual single-pringle status. So, my response was, "Well, there was the one with an adorably plushie backpack..."


Droid, please. I already have my heart set on someone else!

Imagine my surprised when I learned
how close Daisy Ridley was to me in age! :D

No, seriously, Rey's my newest fanboy crush. And for good reason. This girl kicks ass with the best of them, and wipes the floor with some of those bests of them too. She's the new true hero of this storied franchise, going from living a hardscrabble life in the sands of Jakku to overturning all expectations whenever she finds herself in any remotely distressed-damsel type of situation.

Also along for the ride are a couple more new heroes, though neither of them are quite as cool as Rey. Finn is a young First Order Stormtrooper (I guess they ran out of Jango Fett clones who keep banging their heads on the door?), and Poe Dameron is the Resistance's biggest hotshot pilot. Together, they kick-start one of the first of this movie's so many mind-blowing action scenes, in which the former defects from the First Order and they take off in an unattended fighter. (This is more challenging than it sounds - said fighter happens to be quite firmly TIEd down, pun intended.)

Pictured: on the left, one snarky dude.
On the right, one traitor to a despicable cause.

Special mention also has to go to the greatest Lil' Robot Sidekick Star Wars has ever seen, and perhaps the strongest competitor yet to Baymax's title of Cutest Robot Ever. I give you the fantastic, the expressive, the wonderful...BB-8.

Yeah, that's right. I said your name, little guy. :)

And let's not forget the return of some old favorites from way back in the day. Seriously, every time another familiar face showed up on screen, the entire theater broke out in applause. But the most was reserved for the scene that had everyone wetting themselves in the earliest trailers.

It's like when someone shows up as themselves on SNL or TBBT. *insert Lady Gaga's "Applause"*

The Dark Side had its fair share of great representatives too. By which I mean "great for the Dark Side," and not that they're actual great people to have around. Our Big Bad, Kylo Ren, fancies himself the second coming of Darth Vader, complete with praying to the ruins of Vader's helmet. But he's not Vader - if anything, he's worse. The original trilogy mostly used Vader's fearsome appearance to cultivate his air of badass villainy. Under J.J. Abrams' expert direction, however, we're actually shown the wickedness, as Ren gets up close and personal to torture his chosen victims. Like, he uses the Force to keep them trapped in place, rather than just choke them from a short distance as was Vader's M.O. And he likes to strap people into chairs and mind-rape them, too. He's creepy like that.

What Rey's really thinking:
"You and your ridiculous facial apparatus stay OUT OF MY HEAD, gorrammit!"

Oh, and lest we forget - the crossguard lightsaber. We all remember how everyone reacted to the first sight of that baby - "how does he not cut his hands off with that thing?" Well, just look at the main blade too. It's looking a little glitchy, don't you think? Not nearly as solid as you would expect, given what all the other lightsabers throughout the series looked like. Me, I'm thinking that the less-solid state of Ren's weapon is a metaphor for how unstable he is in general. I mean, the guy has an alarming habit of using that same lightsaber to destroy inanimate objects when he's pissed. And then there's...well, I won't spoil what it is he really does, but let's just say, without getting into specifics, it's UNFORGIVABLE. Like, Avada Kedavra unforgivable.

Back to Ren's old idol for a second, though. Only in Return of the Jedi did it appear that there was any chance of Vader being even the tiniest bit redeemable. Until then, he was cold and vicious and deadly, and we all loved to hate him. It's entirely possible that the writers are setting up Ren for a similar turnaround come Episode IX or so. But until then, I refuse to believe that there's any bringing this guy back from the Dark Side.

What I do believe is that this role is the closest
Adam Driver's ever been to doing a Loki cosplay.

The best villain of this movie, though, wasn't Kylo Ren at all. Instead, it was the villain whose face we didn't get to see: Captain Phasma. Everyone loves Boba Fett because throughout all his original-trilogy film appearances (and, to an extent, his turn as a little ten-year-old boy clone in Episode II), he's enigmatic, mysterious, everything people love about bad guys. Captain Phasma is the sequel trilogy's Boba Fett - she gets so little screen time, but boy howdy, do those precious few minutes make an impact.

And here we see Captain Phasma in her natural habitat,
doing her "Haters Gonna Hate" walk to the tune of Pink Floyd's "Run Like Hell."

Characters are the movie's strongest of strong points, and this is closely followed by action. Abrams has yet to fail me in any of his directing efforts, but this movie contains some of the most balls-to-the-wall hyperkinetic scenes that aren't in the likes of, say, Fury Road, The Amazing Spider-Man, Live Free Or Die Hard, The Maze Runner, etc. That part where the Millennium Falcon goes on a merry little dogfight run through the wreck of a Stardestroyer? Trust me, the trailers don't do it justice at all. And then, for Holy Shit Quotient at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, there's a scene involving epic-scale destruction of lives and property (the exact details and/or specifications cannot be revealed here) which might just be the most horrifying of its kind since Terminator 2. Basically, this movie runs the gamut - it's perfectly balanced, like that sword Will Turner presented in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

All of these combined make The Force Awakens not only the best Star Wars movie to date, but also the best movie J.J. Abrams has ever made, or will ever make. For the next two Episodes, Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow really have their work cut out for them if they want to stand a chance at reaching the insanely high bar their immediate predecessor has set.

To this movie, I give an A+ grade, as I fully expected from the outset. Truly, I was not disappointed. And now, Pinecones...good night, and may the Force be with you.

Remember: Denis Leary is always watching. Always.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Review: Tandem

Tandem Tandem by Anna Jarzab
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this one because of the glowing praise from Marie Lu, and also for its hooky premise of parallel universes. And indeed, the parallel universes are the book's greatest strength, as it allows for some seriously excellent world-building. But sadly, this one wonderful aspect is saddled with a tired, hackneyed plot and characters who just didn't engage me as well as they should have.

Ironically, I'm currently reading another book that has a similar hackneyed plot going on - Aimee Carter's Pawn. However, Carter writes the story well enough that her plot feels less "been there, done that" than this one.

If you want a romance-driven parallel-universe story, I'd suggest the Unraveling duology instead. Those books have the tension, action, and X-Files-ness that this one lacks.

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Review: Sky Key

Sky Key Sky Key by James Frey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The sequel to The Calling is written in the same bizarre style as its predecessor - it still feels like a slightly-less-metaphorical Shatter Me, but the action is still as insanely Matthew Reilly-like as ever. Sure, a lot of storyline details and tropes feel like they were also recycled from The Lorien Legacies, but that doesn't ruin the enjoyment at all for me. I'm fully invested in this trilogy - I need to finish it now.

Sun Key - I'm assuming that's the working title for Book 3, at least - needs to be here sooner rather than later. (But preferably after United As One, because I need to know how The Lorien Legacies ends even more.)

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Review: Angel Killer

Angel Killer Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I discovered this one when Andrew Mayne followed me on Twitter. His books looked interesting enough, so I followed him back and ordered this first book right away, as well as the second one.

I was not disappointed.

It comes in a larger-than-normal paperback like many lesser-known mystery novels I've seen - most of which are of the Christian-fiction variety. This one, though...not so much, not with the heavy use of Satanic imagery in the killer's warped worldview. The heavy use of R-rated language would also make this one decidedly unsuitable for those who want a Christian mystery novel - the best of which, I still believe, is the work of Steven James. James' work on the Bowers Files is a pretty good comparison to this book, and like the Bowers Files, I suspect this series will get better and better - not to mention more downright scary - as it goes along.

Luckily, Book 2 is already in my To-Read pile. A review on that one will come soon.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Review: Need

Need Need by Joelle Charbonneau
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm surprised to see how little love Joelle Charbonneau's been getting on Goodreads. Ever since I can remember, I've seen buttloads of bad reviews for The Testing and its sequels, but I loved how evil those books were, and how they expertly Hunger-Gamed standardized tests and college admissions. This book is a different kind of evil, a modern-day Twilight Zone story about a diabolical new social network, invitation-only, rolling out to students at a small-town high school. It promises to get you what you tell it you need - but only if you perform some shady job as payment. You'd think the teenagers in this town wouldn't be stupid or shallow enough to...


I'd like to think most social networks aren't as evil as the world (or my parents) make them out to be, but NEED is clearly Satan's latest, finest, nastiest creation.

The result is the sort of book that, I think, is Lauren Oliver's Panic for people who didn't like Panic. It's a hybrid of contemporary and dystopian, but the main characters are far more likable (and, in some cases, quite conflicted), and the story is easy to follow and quite addictive.

I eagerly await Charbonneau's next - whether it be a sequel to this book (not too likely, but I can hope), or a whole new story world with all new characters and styles and rules.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Review: Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute

Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute by Jonathan L. Howard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third adventure of old Johannes Cabal is, once again, Something Completely Different. The titular place enlists Cabal's help on an expedition into the land where Lovecraft's famous Eldritch Abomination creations reside - according to legend, anyway. Howard warns us from the outset that this book is going to be nightmarish, so we shouldn't laugh at it at all...and yet, that's exactly the reaction I have for most of the novel, because of how silly it is that Cabal's traveling companions are so hilariously, woefully ill-prepared for the horrors that lie ahead.

However, the ending is a major, major shock. That's all I'll say about that.

Next order of business - request Book 4 from the library.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Arrow's Most Diabolical Cliffhanger Yet


"Come, they told me, pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
A newborn king to see, pa-rum-pum-pum-pum..."
- "The Little Drummer Boy"

*sigh* Well, my loyal Pinecones, I'll just let Stephen Amell speak for me re: the above song.

Yeah, after they used it as the soundtrack to Felicity getting shot last night, I'm gonna change the station every time I hear this song. Even the excellent Harry Connick, Jr. and Kenny G versions.

In this more enlightened era, there are so many amazing female characters on TV. Chief among them, I think, are the sestras of Orphan Black's Clone Club, Agent Carter herself, Joan Watson, Sameen Shaw, Daisy Johnson, Allison Argent (RIP), Kara Danvers, Daenerys Targaryen, and Clarke Griffin.

But let's not forget my favorite of them all.

Oh, how I wish.

Whenever TV writers see fit to kill off a character, they should also figure in whether or not it's really necessary to disrupt the dynamics of the show so severely. Often, I find that a show is in such a state of equilibrium, character-wise, that adding or subtracting any characters will irrevocably disrupt the show's vibe. Sure, maybe they'll set things right eventually, in their own way (as NCIS did when Ellie Bishop joined the show after Ziva David left), but it won't quite be the same.

But what happens when the subtraction of a character is done in the most disastrous, devastating way possible?

A rough representation of me at midnight last night.

That's the possibility we're looking at with the eventual resolution of this latest Arrow cliffhanger. The possibility that Felicity did not survive being shot by Damien Darhk's Ghosts (and while we're on the subject of Darhk, who else suffers from a near-permanent inability to spell his name right?)

Hail Hydra...oh wait, wrong show. XD

There are so many reasons why I want nothing more than to jump ahead to next month and see the next episode end with Felicity still alive like nature intended. One, the fact that it's gonna be torturous, the wait till the next Arrow-sode. Perhaps even more so than after last year's midseason cliffhanger - which, let's face it, everyone knew there was no way Ollie was gonna die, because the show called Arrow can't survive without its title character. Never mind that someone else, like Diggle or Thea or Roy, could have possibly taken up his mantle...but still, such a long wait.

I think she might have a bit of Sheldon Cooper Syndrome. But not in a bad way. :)

But with Felicity, she's not at all replaceable. I firmly believe she's the heart and soul of Arrow. Everyone who's a good guy loves her - none more so than Ollie, of course. And why not? She's the brainiest, sassiest, loveliest omelet-failer in all of Star City. Seriously, who else remembers this scene? It's my single favorite Arrow moment ever, and for good reason:

This, people. This is heart and soul right here. *starts humming that old Huey Lewis song* Now, the producers have told us that after last season of Arrow got so dark and depressing, they were gonna take things back a few notches, so the show's tone could be a closer match to its more successful (and just plain awesomer, IMHO) Central City counterpart, The Flash. Not to mention Supergirl - despite the fact that it's "officially" not in the Arrowverse, I eagerly await the day when CBS and the CW announce a four-night crossover - Monday to Thursday, Supergirl to Legends of Tomorrow. So, if this is really what they're going for, it's working so far. Why in the biohazardous material would the writers and producers undo all the good they've done by killing off Felicity? She's such an integral part of the show that the only way they could keep it going after that is to focus for a very long time on Ollie (among the rest of Team Arrow) getting much-needed vengeance. And then what? The hole Felicity will have left behind won't be filled easily, if at all.

Dude, don't ask questions you don't wanna know the answers to.

Every show peaks eventually. Arrow, don't let this be yours. If she dies, we riot. Instead, #SaveFelicitySmoak, and keep on building your potential. And when you do, I'll be there to support you by watching every Wednesday in the highest of spirits.

Also the best Arrow moment ever - Constantine's much-needed guest appearance.

Till next time, Pinecones...

Remember: Denis Leary is always watching. Always.

Review: The Iron Warrior

The Iron Warrior The Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It took a long time for Kagawa to finish this series, and good thing too - she clearly took that long time, that extra time, to make sure it ended right. Ethan and Kenzie have already proven themselves worthy successors to Meghan and Puck and even Ash, and this book only cements that awesomeness of theirs. The whole time, the stakes are unbelievably high, as there's still that one tiny hope that Keirran can be redeemed in spite of the Summer and Winter Courts' wish to terminate him with extreme prejudice. And lest we forget, those creepy-ass Forgotten. *shudders*

Best of all, with Kagawa's hint that later books may take readers back into the Nevernever (even as the Iron Fey saga is officially done), I'm really holding out some hope for further amazingness in the remaining novels of the incredible Talon Saga.

For now, though, I hereby bid Iron Fey ave atque vale.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review: The Elfstones of Shannara

The Elfstones of Shannara The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So it's this book that the upcoming Shannara Chronicles MTV series is based Coolcoolcool. I say that's better than them going for adapting Book 1, which, while still good, feels a little too Tolkien for a TV series. This book felt a little more personal, a little closer to its protagonist, and a little more adventurous too. Oh, but that ending, though...I'm dreading the day the TV series adapts that part. :(

Since there's still a month until the series premiere, I'll be looking into picking up more books in this 'verse whenever I can. :)

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