Apr 24 2017

Alice and Red Queen, by Christina Henry

I've read more than a dozen retellings of Alice in Wonderland, and they all too frequently rely on the same ideas: Alice as an amnesiac; Alice as a traumatized young adult; Alice in a madhouse; Alice and the Mad Hatter in a romantic relationship. Christina Henry's duology—Alice and Red Queen—checks off every cliché on this list, but Henry at least delivers her recycled material with style and energy...

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Apr 24 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Alice and Red Queen, by Christina Henry

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This week's Book Giveaway is actually a two-for-one deal: we're giving away Christina Henry's Alice and Red Queen. I have been burned by many an Alice in Wonderland-themed re-write, but I just keep reading 'em. Clearly, hope springs eternal: maybe this one will be the update of my dreams...

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Apr 20 2017

Are we leaving any classic dystopian novels out?

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Man, what a good day for an announcement regarding a story in which everything goes up in smoke. According to Slate, HBO is making a new film adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. The movie is set to star Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon (two of my favorite acting Michaels!), and Ramin Bahrani will direct...

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Apr 20 2017

That poster's pretty great, tho.

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So, there's a movie coming out called The Little Hours, based loosely on a story from Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron, a 14th century collection of novellas. The movie (which stars about a million relatively big-name comic actors) is about a young man who gets a job as a gardener in a convent...

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Apr 19 2017

Good for the soul

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, the "Midnight Confessions" segment from CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is going to be made into a book, coming this fall from Simon & Schuster...

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Apr 18 2017

Fascinating (but also grim)

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I'm finally reading up on the new movie The Lost City of Z. I had a vague (and 100% incorrect) idea that it had something to do with zombies, but it turns out it is based on David Grann's 2009 nonfiction book of the same name. Grann's book focuses on the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who made numerous attempts to find a lost indigenous city in Brazil's Mato Grosso region...

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Apr 18 2017

Stone age melancholy

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There's a glowing review over on Slate of DC’s "brilliant new Flintstones comic". If this essay is to be believed, DC has taken the formerly cheery Saturday morning cartoon and turned it into a social satire about...

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Apr 17 2017

Silence Fallen, by Patricia Briggs

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Silence Fallen is the tenth novel in Patricia Briggs's best-selling Mercy Thompson series. In this fast-paced, action-heavy installment, shape-shifting VW mechanic Mercy is abducted from her home territory in the Pacific Northwest and spirited away to Italy, where she finds herself a pawn in a chess game being played by an ancient and powerful vampire...

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Apr 17 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Silence Fallen, by Patricia Briggs

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Silence Fallen, the 10th book in Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson series. We rarely review such advanced series installments, but I have a soft spot for these books: they are set in my beloved Washington, they feature a Native heroine, and—judging on a scale of long-running urban fantasy series—Briggs's stories are approximately one bajillion times better than this...

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Apr 13 2017

Visual appeal

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There's a great article over on Buzzfeed by Anne Helen Petersen called "The Radical Feminist Aesthetic Of The Handmaid’s Tale". (The article claims to be spoiler-free, but it does share quite a bit about the novel, so bear that in mind if you want to watch the TV series completely unspoiled.) Petersen talks about the visual way the filmmakers illustrate the characters' world...

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Apr 13 2017

Those hairstyles, though...

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I just saw the trailer for Terrence Davies's 2016 movie about the life of poet Emily Dickinson, A Quiet Passion. It looks very elegant and tasteful, but maybe a little low on actual plot...

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Apr 12 2017

Festive

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Someone decided to make an extremely detailed statue of Disney's Belle out of the world's second-grossest (after Circus Peanuts, obviously) candy: Peeps...

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Apr 11 2017

Angry fog

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The trailer is out for SpikeTV's upcoming TV series adaptation of Stephen King's 1980 novella The Mist. I didn't learn much from this trailer, apart from the suggestion that the mist might be the result of an angry Mother Nature(?)...

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Apr 11 2017

Grim AND expensive!

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A British woman who recently bought a £14 box of books ended up with ridiculously valuable find: an English-language, first edition print of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. (I love that subtitle: "A Russian Realistic Novel".) The lucky woman chose...

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Apr 10 2017

The Dark Days Pact, by Alison Goodman

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When I read the first book in Alison Goodman's Lady Helen series, I found it solidly written but over-engineered. The second installment, The Dark Days Pact, has similar strengths and weaknesses, but the deepening emotional stakes make the overall story far more satisfying...

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Apr 10 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Dark Days Pact, by Alison Goodman

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Today's Book Giveaway is Alison Goodman's The Dark Days Pact, the sequel to last year's The Dark Days Club. I'll be posting my review shortly, but first I need to re-read the first book—Goodman's writing is best appreciated when one pays attention to the details...

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Apr 7 2017

That's a dizzying image

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There's an article on Flavorwire about a possible sequel to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. This is by no means confirmed, but people are basing their hopes on a recent audiobook edition of the novel...

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Apr 6 2017

Reworking the story

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There's a glowing review up on NPR of the animated Japanese movie Your Name, which is apparently based on a classic Japanese poem by author Ono no Komachi. I'm not sure which poem, but you can read a selection of Komachi's work...

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Apr 5 2017

High hopes

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The trailer is out for Netflix's adaptation of Anne of Green Gables! I'm excited about this: I loved the Megan Follows versions when I was a kid, but it always struck me as hard to believe that anyone could find Follows anything other than classically lovely...

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Apr 4 2017

Ouch

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Vox has written a helpful guide to the recent comics-world kerfluffle over Marvel executive David Gabriel, who (maybe inadvertently?) suggested that Marvel's low sales numbers are a reflection of readers’ disinterest in comic books featuring diverse protagonists. The article makes a solid argument Gabriel's comments are far less gross in context, but...

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Apr 4 2017

Close to home

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McSweeney's just posted the following list: National Geographic Articles in the Year 2030". It would be so much funnier if at least a handful of them ("95 Degrees Fahrenheit in December — Is This the Coldest Winter in Years?" and...

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Apr 3 2017

The Promise in a Kiss, by Stephanie Laurens

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It's been a few months, so it's time for another attempt in my ongoing (and frequently unsuccessful) search for historical romance novelists whose work I actually like. Sadly, if her 2001 novel The Promise in a Kiss is any indication, Stephanie Laurens is considerably closer to the dreadful Jane Feather than Georgette Heyer...

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Apr 3 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Promise in a Kiss, by Stephanie Laurens

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This week's Book Giveaway is Stephanie Laurens's The Promise in a Kiss, the eighth book in her never-ending Cynster Family Saga. (Twenty-five books and counting!) A full review will follow shortly...

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Apr 1 2017

No, thanks

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If you're going to go see the Ghost in the Shell movie despite A) the well-deserved whitewashing criticisms, and B) the less culturally relevant but still important fact that it's directed by Rupert Sanders, the man behind the overly styled and fundamentally incoherent Snow White and the Huntsman movie...

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Apr 1 2017

Recycling

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Huh. Joss Whedon is in talks to direct D.C.'s Batgirl movie. According to LaineyGossip, this is apparently upsetting to both D.C. and Marvel fans: Marvel fans feel like Whedon's a turncoat, and D.C. fans worry that he will make the story too glib. I don't care either way (not a Batgirl fan), but...

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Mar 31 2017

Maybe on DVD?

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The first trailer is out for the updated version of Stephen King's IT, and, surprise! it looks scary. I'm not sure how much of a difference modern special effects will make in this story, but I am hoping that the director and screenwriter have a really brilliant idea for coping with...

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Mar 30 2017

A vast improvement

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And speaking of Neil Gaiman, I didn't realize that there were more faux-vintage covers for his books! I had already seen (and loved) the new-old cover for Neverwhere, but full props to the publisher, the cover artist(s), and Gaiman himself, whom I would not have pegged as...

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Mar 30 2017

Colorful

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There are a bunch of really great character posters out for Starz's upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods. As longtime readers of the site may know, I am not a fan of this book, but...

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Mar 29 2017

Assassin's Masque, by Sarah Zettel

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Assassin's Masque, the third book in Sarah Zettel's Palace of Spies series, is a fun, smart read with an eye-catching cover, but I suspect it lacks that special something that makes teen books fly off shelves. (It might look inadequately dramatic?) I'm sorry about this, because I've found all of Zettel's books solidly entertaining...

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Mar 29 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Assassin's Masque, by Sarah Zettel

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This week's Book Giveaway is Sarah Zettel's Assassin's Masque, the third book in her excellent Palace of Spies series. I'm not a fan of that title (which makes no sense and has almost nothing to do with the story, but I guess sounds cool?), but whatever: Zettel is a reliably great writer, so my expectations for this sucker are high...

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