Showing posts from March, 2019

Crimes of Grindelwald: Messy but Lovable

I finally had the chance to see Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald  recently (both the theatrical and extended cuts) and boy do I have a lot of thoughts. It goes without saying that there are massive spoilers ahead. First off, let me say that the extended cut is better. It's only seven minutes longer, but those seven minutes add some very necessary scenes. Credence's rebirth in the alternate opening, Leta's fears in the ballroom scene, more time with Credence and Nagini, and an extended version of Newt and Albus Dumbledore's early conversation all serve to fill some of the many holes left in this film's plot. If you have access to the extended cut, watch it. It's worth it. There's a lot of magic here. Some of it is old but fresh such as Portkeys and fantastic beasts. Other elements are new and strange (looking at you, blood pacts, Maledictus, and vision-spewing skull). Some of it could do with deeper explanation, while other pie

Top 10 Fantasy Series

I often talk about specific books and series that I love, but I've never broken down (for myself or others) just which fantasy series  I love more than all others. So I decided to work out what my top 10 fantasy series of all time are, based on the following criteria: I have to love the themes, the magic, the characters, and so forth (themes of hope, light conquering darkness, etc. being preeminent); how complete is my reading of the series; and how many re-reads have I completed, if any. The Elemental Masters The least completely read series on this list, Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters wins a place by virtue of its unique blend of fairy tales, magic, and historical romance. Every time I read a new book in this series, I remember how much I love the world Lackey has created. The Dresden Files I'm all caught up on this series barring the newest short story collection, Brief Cases  (which is in my ever-growing to-read pile). This series has it all: magic

Review Round-up: Bridge of Clay, The Wee Free Men, and The Silver Branch

I've been doing a chunk of reading in the last few weeks, along with finishing "Paper and Thorns" (if you need a refresher on this fairy tale novella, click here for all the snippets and behind-the-scenes posts). If you're interested in being a beta reader for "Paper and Thorns," leave a comment with your email (all comments are moderated, so if you don't wish to have it be public, just say so and I'll delete the comment after sending the story your way). On to the reviews! Bridge of Clay The long-awaited next book from the author who wrote  The Book Thief , Bridge of Clay  is the story of the five Dunbar boys following the return of their estranged father, Michael. He wants them to build a bridge with him, and all of them refuse, except for Clay. As Clay and his father work on the bridge, the oldest Dunbar boy, Matthew, narrates the stories of Michael, Penny (their mother), and their family. We're given insight into the histories of in

Locke and Key: If Stephen King Wrote 100 Cupboards

A while back, I got the audio adaptation of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez's graphic novel series Locke and Key  as part of a promotion on Audible. I haven't delved into it yet, and when my local library picked up the whole series I decided to check out the source material before diving into it. Before I go into the story, let me be frank: this is not a series for younger readers. It's probably not for a lot of older readers, either. Joe Hill is Stephen King's son and it shows in everything he writes, for better or worse. This series deals with graphic violence, alcoholism, death, murder, and creatures called (for lack of a better term) demons. Extreme profanity and vulgarity pepper the dialogue throughout. Proceed with caution and discernment. That being said, there are some good bones in this story. As the title suggests, my first impression of this series (volume 1 pictured above) was that it was N. D. Wilson's 100 Cupboards  if Stephen King were writing i