Top 5 Wednesday: Autobuy SFF Authors

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wendnesday and the topic is:

April 11: Auto-Buy Scifi and Fantasy Authors – Booktube SFF Awards Babble Crossover Topic! 
— This month’s crossover topic is your auto-buy authors that write SFF.

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

VE Schwab

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Author of great books such as Vicious, This Savage Song, and Shade of Magic series. I have a read most of the books she has published, but I need to read A Conjuring of Light. I am also very excited for the sequel to Vicious, which is Vengeful. Her worlds are magnificent, the characters are engaging and well developed, and her stories are amazing.

Marie Lu

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She wrote the Legend trilogy which was amazing. The Young Elites trilogy which I really liked. Warcross was one of my favorite books of last year, and she wrote Batman Nightwalker, which I loved. I love that she is willing to write different genres and go from dystopia, to high fantasy and futuristic Sci Fi. I am very excited for Wildcard this year.

Leigh Bardugo

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While I did enjoy Shadow and Bone, my main reason for loving Leigh Bardugo, was the Six of Crows duology. The characters, the worlds and the story, drew me in. While I am disappointed that I won’t see those characters again I am excited to read what she has written.

Cindy Pon

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She is, in my opinion a very underrated author. I loved the Serpentine duo-logy, especially with the use of Chinese mythology into a fantasy world. I loved Want, which was another favorite book that I read last year. I loved all of the characters she has written and I can’t want for the sequel to Want,

Marissa Meyer

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For those who have been following blog for a long time,should know how much I love the Lunar Chronicles. Sci Fi retellings mixed with fairy tales are my jam. I loved Heartless which was a stand alone retelling of the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland. I also loved Renegades which dealt with the superhero genre. Her characters are amazing and I am excited for Archenemies.

Honorable Mentions: Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, Megan Spooner, Holly Black, Susan Dennard, Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, Cinda Williams Chima

Those are my SFF auto buy authors. Who are your SFF auto buy authors? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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Renegades by: Marissa Meyer

Summary:

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

The Review:

If you have been following my blog you should know that I am a HUGE fan of the Lunar Chronicles, so of course I was very excited about the fact that Marissa Meyer is writing a new series, and this was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017.

The book is mainly told through two POVs, Nova or Nightmare; she has the power to put people to sleep just by touching them. After her family was killed, she always has had disdain for the Renegades because she felt that they didn’t save them. She was a well developed character, she really did bring out a lot of the moral grayness with bringing out the differences between the Renegades and the Anarchists.

Adrian or Sketch, has the power to bring his artwork to life. His mother was killed in the battle of Gatlin and was adopted by two other superheros who are on the council. He also has an arc that deals with trying to get justice for his mother. He deals with a lot of pressure as being the son of two famous superheroes and he always wants to be more than a patrol hero and do some real work as a Renegade. He also deals with some of the issues that the Renegades deal with.

The relationship between both Adrian and Nova was also really fleshed out. It was basically a hero and a villain falling in love but they don’t know who each other are. It added some depth to the story and made it seem like both sides have good points. It reminded me a lot of the X-Men comics, mainly the X-Men vs. The Brotherhood. Both are contentiously combating each other but also has great points.

The world building was very well done. Marissa Meyer introduced us to a world where superheroes are already established in world and they are called Renegades, who are those with powers. I also felt that there was some back story I actually wanted to see more fleshed out. Mainly the Age of Anarchy and the Battle of Gatlin, I feel that could have been a series of books on their own.

The supporting characters were good as well, mainly the group of Anarchists who work with Nova. They had their own distinct personalities to them. I just wish they were a bit more fleshed out. Hopefully the second book will do that. I also felt the villain was a little thinly developed, mainly because Queen Levena was such a great villain I kinds wish the villain was on that level.

The ending I also felt was a tad rushed. I know the book was over 500 pages but I would have liked the ending could have also been a bit more fleshed out and hopefully a sequel will better continue the story.

In the end, Renegades did not disappoint. Marissa Meyer wrote another great book and she wasn’t afraid to explore other genres. Nova and Adrian are great characters, and the world involving superheroes was great. While I felt the ending could have been fleshed out, I want to see the story continue.

Grade: 4.3/5

Heartless by: Marissa Meyer

Summary:

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

The Review:

This was another anticipated of the year. I am a huge fan of the Lunar Chronicles series and I wanted to see her interpretation of of Wonderland and the Red Queen’s backstory, and it didn’t disappoint.

At first I like that Catherine started off as a normal girl who dreams of owning her bakery instead of royalty, while it did come across as a Disney princess who dreams of something more, the story was framed differently. It reminded me a lot of the movie/musical Waitress about a women who dreams of owning her own bakery but sometimes life gets in the way. She, of course is forced to marry the king and she really doesn’t want to and she falls in love with Jest, the court jester.

I like her relationship with Jest, it reminded me a lot of Wicked in a sense with Elphaba and Fieryo’s relationship and sometimes the song “As Long as You’re Mine” comes off in their scenes together. While it was the cliched forbidden and secret romance the characters were framed better. Jest was a good character and I liked his character arc, but I don’t want to get into it without spoiling anything.

I also liked her interpretation of Wonderland, her writing was very descriptive and it put us back in Wonderland, without trying to make a prequel with a lot of forced references and it flowed a lot better within the story.I pictured mostly the Disney animated movie when I thought of Wonderland.

My only gripe with the story is that it started off very slow and it wasn’t as plot heavy in the first half of the book but mostly devoted to character development, its the second half of the book is where the story really picks up and you see how Catherine becomes the Red Queen, but I also felt that it was a bit rushed and I would have liked to see some build up  before she turns completely evil.

In the end, I think Heartless was a great book and it was a good take on Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland, and the world of Wonderland. I know this is a stand alone book but I hope to see more of Marissa Meyer’s work. I heard she is doing one on superheroes.

Grade: 4/5

Top 5 Wednesday: Books you want to read before the end of the year

For this week’s top 5 Wednesday it is Books I want to read before the end of the year.

I like doing this list because it will mix my favorite upcoming releases and books on my TBR list.

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Yes. As a Harry Potter fan of course I am going to read this. I will still read even though I have been slacking. I also want to read the what is hopefully the start of the Harry Potter expanded universe.

The Midnight Star by: Marie Lu

After ready the previous two books this year and loving them. As a fan of her Legend trilogy, I always loved her writing and loved the Legend trilogy and hopefully this book will be a very good conclusion to her already awesome series.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

As a huge fan of her Lunar Chronicles series, it was only telling that I would be excited about her next book. This is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland with the origin of the Queen of Hearts.

The Girl on the Train by: Paula Hawkins

As what I did with Gone Girl before that movie came out, I want to read the book. The trailer really intrigued me and I want to know happens before seeing the movie.

A Torch Against the Night by: Sabaa Tahir

The sequel of one of my favorite books that I read last year is getting a sequel. With the way the last book ended I want to know what’s gonna happen to the characters.

There’s my list. Which books do you want to read for the year? Let me know in the comments below!

Top 5 Wednesday: Authors I would Love to Meet at BEA/ Book Con

Happy Wednesday everyone, for this weeks top 5 Wednesday it is authors I would love to meet at BEA con. While I can’t go but a man could dream.

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone

Marissa Meyer author of Lunar Chronicles

As most of you can probably tell I am a fan of the Lunar Chronicles. She did a great job at combining Fairy Tale elements with science fiction and gave us a really great series.

Sabaa Tahir author of An Ember in the Ashes

Sabaa Tahir is one of my new favorite authors. An Ember in the Ashes got me out of my reading slump and become one of my favorite books of the past year.

Suzanne Collins author of The Hunger Games series

The Hunger Games series kicked started or rebooted my love for reading. It was such a great series and got me introduced to other series that I absolutely love.

James Dashner author of The Maze Runner

I know some people have mixed feelings on the Maze Runner but I actually really liked the series. The characters were great and well developed. Also the story surprised me on how good it was.

Micheal DiMartino creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender

I know this is cheating, but he created one of my favorite shows of all time and since he will there why not include him. The show is amazing and I recommend that you give it watch. Stick to show and not the movie that never happened.

There is my list. Let me know what you think and is there any author I should have included.

 

 

 

Lunar Chronicles Movie Dream Cast

Hello everyone,

This is a first for me, it is what I like to call a Movie Dream cast in which I take one of my favorite book series and make my own cast for that particular adaptation for either a movie or TV series for this one I am doing The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa. It is one of my favorite book series and now let’s get started.

For this I am naming at least 3 candidates who I think should be cast as the characters.

First our main female lead Linh Cinder, who is a mechanic who happens to be part cyborg, but is essentially the emotional core of the series. Here are my 3 picks

  1. Shay Mitchell: She is who Marissa Meyer pictured when writing Cinder, and I think she is good pick. I think she could pull off the sass but also a lot of the emotional scenes especially what will come up in furture books
  2. Chloe Bennet: From Agents of Shield, I think she could really pull of a lot of the action scenes especially in Scarlet, Cress and Winter. Also, in season 2 and 3 of Agents of Shield, see also pulls off a lot of dramatic movements.
  3. Seychelle Gabriel: I know she is mostly does voice work, and from what people see her as Princess Yue from the Last Airbender movie we do not speak of. She did do voice work on Legend of Korra, and I think she also has the look of Cinder. She also showed off some action scenes in Falling Skies.

Next on the character list in Prince/Emperor Kai, love interest to Cinder and Emperor of Commonwealth (formerly China). Also should be very handsome. For this one I have two.

  1. Harry Shum Jr: From Glee and now playing Magnus on the Shadow hunters series. And with a suit, and the looks he could be a good Kai.
  2. Ki Hong Lee: From the Maze Runner movies and also from Kimmy Schmidt  he has the looks, but also the range to be Kai. Going from seriuos leader to a man unlucky in love. I can picture him as Kai.

The next character is the red headed Scarlet. Caring Scarlet who has to look for her grandmother, who has a dangerous secret. My choices are,

  1. Sophie Turner: With her work in Game of Thrones and the upcoming Xmen Apocalypse, she is coming up in the acting world, and if you watch Game of Thrones she has the performance capacity for the role.
  2. Holland Roden: From MTV’s Teen Wolf, so she has experience with wolves. But also does a good job in the show. 
  3. Georgie Henley: I know, she’s from another adaptation, the Narnia series. She is grown up, and I think she be a feisty, which is a good character trait for Scarlet. 

Our next hero is our favorite scoundrel, Carswell Thorne who I like to describe as Malcolm Reynolds of Firefly meets Jack Harkness of Torchwood/Doctor Who. A man who loves his ship and the ladies.

  1. Sam Clafin: Finnick from Hunger Games. I see him as a cocky young scoundrel who did a great job as Finnick in the Hunger Games series. 
  2. Colton Haynes: Also from Teen Wolf and more recently Arrow. Good looking, charming everything Thorne is. 
  3. Armie Hammer: “He’s 6’5 220 and there’s two of him” not really. But he also has the charm to play Thorne. Yes, he was in a few flops, but was great in The Social Network and J. Edgar. 

Next is Wolf, a Lunar operative turned good. A charming bad boy with a heart of gold. My choices are:

  1. Nathan Parsons: From Vampire Diaries/The Originals. I know he plays a wolf in both shows you see a little dark side in him. 
  2. Dan Ewing: From Power Rangers RPM. His character started off as lone wolf trying to escape is past. Then he joins the rangers, sort of like Wolf in the book. 

Next character is Cress. The young girl who lives in a satellite and never seen Earth. With her wide eyes here are my choices:

  1. Anna Sophia Robb: She has those bright eyes, and is young actress I would love to see get more work.   
  2. Evanna Lynch: This is also an obvious choice. I admit I pictured her when reading the book. Her bright eyes also fit. 
  3. Carmen Bicondova: While I am very mixed on Gothan. She is great as future Catwomen and also has those innocent eyes Cress has. 

Next up is Winter, Queen Levana’s step daughter who doesn’t use her Lunar gifts which has some side effects. She also has an innocence towards her. I have 2 great choices.

  1. Amandla Stenberg: Rue, from the Hunger Games, now she is grown up and I think has the innocence to play Winter. 
  2. Zendaya Coleman: Also has the look of innocence Winter has, but also grown as a young actress.  

Last for the heroes is Jacin Clay, works for Levana who is really with Princess Winter. Also very charming.

  1. Lucas Till: from X-men and also the charming cowboy from the Hannah Montana movie. He was also in the running to play Peeta. 
  2. Taron Edgerton: from Kingsman, he can really act and in Cress, I think we can play someone who you don’t know what side is he on. 
  3. Hunter Parrish: After Weeds, I would like to see him in more stuff. He was great on Broadway, in Spring Awakening. 

Next is some of the supporting characters. First is the wicked Stepmother Lihn Adri

  1. Sandra Oh: If you watch Grey’s Anatomy, you should know 
  2. Lucy Liu: She did very well playing cold-hearted on Ally Mcbeal 
  3. Yunjim Kim: She was very good on Lost, and deserves a lot more work. 

Next the good Dr. Erland. An ally to Cinder and a good wise man and great Mentor. My choices are:

  1. Martin Freeman : Bilbo, Watson, and Lester. In Fargo he proved he can handle dramatic material and be more than Sherlock’s sidekick. 
  2. Mandy Patinkin: He is amazing on Homeland, and also plays a mentor to Carrie, the main lead on Homeland. 
  3. Christoph Waltz: Yes he usually plays a bad guy, but I think it would be nice for him to play a good guy. 

Now for the main villains. First Sybill Mara, Queen Levana right hand women. My choices are:

  1. Emily Blunt: She proved herself with Edge of Tomorrow and Sicario, she is a capable actress that can handle action. 
  2. Ruth Negga: She is someone who can play cold-hearted bitch. She did it on Agents of Shield.     
  3. Ruth Wilson: If you watch Luther, you will see why. 

Next is Aimery Park: Sybill’s Mara’s replacement, also as cold as Sybill Mara

  1. Taye Diggs: I really want to see him play a villain. 
  2. Djimon Hounsou: One of favorite actor, who deserves more than being a glorified extra in Guardians of the Galaxy. 
  3. Idris Elba: Another great actor who in after seeing Beasts of No Nation. I can see him playing a great villain role. 

Now for the main villain Queen Levana. This was a tough one.

  1. Lana Parilla: I know too obvious, I couldn’t resist. She is great on Once upon a Time and Levana wouldn’t be that big a stretch for her. 
  2. Morena Baccarin: She has the look, and the acting style. She can pull it off. 
  3. Madeline Stowe: Watching Revenge right now and she can pull off being a cold-calculating bitch. 

Now for the writer and director. I also think Marissa Meyer should also be involved. For the writers I choose:

Jane Espenson: Who wrote for Once Upon a Time, Torchwood and Battlestar Galactica. She could just combine all of those and make a great movie. 

Another writer is Marti Noxon: who as written Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 

Both women, I think has the capacity to write compelling female characters in both the heroes and the villains.

Now for the directors. This is another tough one. I have chosen.

Joss Whedon: Avengers, Buffy, Firefly, he has written anything with geekdom. He could also handle a great cast of characters who have distinct personalities that has to work together. Now that he is done with Avengers, this is another series he could be a part of. 

Kenneth Branagh: He directed the first Thor movie and also the 2015 Cinderella (haha) and could pull off creating the world of the Lunar Chronicles. 

There you have it my sort Lunar Chronicles movie. I know I may missed some supporting characters. I will get to them. And if you have your own ideas for casting, let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

Lunar Chronicles Book 4: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Summary (Via Goodreads)Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

My Thoughts: This is how you finish a series. With a lot of series that I read and really like, the problem I have with most of them is that the final book is either disappointing, underwhelming or anti-climatic. This book has none of those. I really enjoyed this book and it was a really great conclusion to this epic series.

Now let’s talk about the characters. I love how each of the characters uses their skills, whether it is Cress, hacking computers, Cinder being a skilled mechanic or Throne with his wit and charm. I really love how the ensemble works together. Even though this is the book that Winter is finally introduced and fully fleshed out, but also the other characters managed to have good character development. If I were to nitpick I think the characters with the least is Wolf and Scarlet, but even then they had a lot of their development is Scarlet.

Queen Levana, is one of my favorite villains. My problem with Fairest, was that it gave us Levana’s backstory even though we already knew from the previous books. But I loved how evil she was, and in the end she just wants to be beautiful. The climatic fight between Cinder and Levana was so intense and really gave us both a glimpse into our hero and villian.

Now for our new character Winter. She is amazing. I love that she refuses to use her glamour in her people even though it is disfiguring her. Her relationship with Jacin was very well done and I really like how Jacin really cares about her.

In the end this book also did a good job at tying up loose ends that needed to be tied up. All the major characters had their stories end. I know some of the criticisms was that they all lived happily ever after, but I like that they lived happily ever after because the characters all went on a journey and had dealt with so much that they deserve their happy ending.

All in all, the series was very well done. I loved every book (besides Fairest), all the characters and would happily reread the series.

Grade: 5/5