Book Review: Myths & Magic: Queer Fairy Tales

Book Title: Myth & Magic: Queer Fairy Tales
Editors: Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman

I want to be wicked with you.
From Bad Queens in Myth & Magic: Queer Fairy Tales edited by Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman

Final Verdict: An interesting mix of fairy tales and queer stories, but ultimately only a few stand out stories.

For the full review, click the name of the book.

Book Review: Taking Fire: A First Responder Novel

Book Title:  Taking Fire: A First Responder Novel
Author: Radclyffe

“Everyone knew the consequences of breaking the unwritten rules: never discuss the danger of going outside the wire, never brag about the girl waiting back home, never count the days until the end of tour. If you did, you might mistake that buried IED for a rock, or log on to the Dear John email, or get the last-minute change in your separation orders.”
Taking Fire by Radclyffe

Final Verdict: An okay summer read that started out great and petered off by the end.

For the full review, click the name of the book.

Book Review: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

Book Title: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place
Author: Julie Berry

“He made his way around the table to where his sister sat, raised his arm to thump her back, then choked, clutched his throat, fell forward, and landed on the floor with a thud that reverberated up the legs of the chairs upon which the seven young ladies sat.
‘Dead, I imagine,’ Dour Elinor observed.”
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

Final Verdict: A wonderful book with a great mystery and a wonderful story of a sisterhood of choice and strong female characters working together!

For the full review, click the name of the book.

Random News: Browncoat Friday

Hello Lovely Readers,

Ever since I watched the movie Serenity and made a friend because of it, who then introduced me to the wonders that were Firefly, I have been a Browncoat! Surprisingly, no matter where I went, I would eventually find the other Browncoats, and usually I was already friends with them. So it has become a bit like returning home for me to watch the series or the movie, as it reminds me of all my friends. For those that have no clue what a Browncoat is, a Browncoat is a fan of series Firefly (and/or the movie based on the series, Serenity). So since I was craving something shiny today, I thought I would share some fun finds for the other Browncoats out there!

First find is 21 Times You Found Serenity. This is mostly a list of how awesome Captain Malcolm Reynolds is, which is fun! For those who aren’t Browncoats yet, Serenity is the name of a battle that Captain Mal and his firstmate, Zoe fought in, and lost. The ship and the movie are named after this battle. But even more, it is a line in the theme song of the tv series, and you can listen to it at the bottom of this post.

The second find is 27 Signs You’re A Browncoat, and it is great. There is a much wider range of characters and events. It was very nice reminder for me of the whole series! It is so hard to pick a favorite one, but I do love Shepard Book, who is the one aiming for the kneecaps! ^_^

Lastly is a quiz to figure out Which Firefly Character You Are. I was excited to get Captain Mal, Mr. Captain-Tight-Pants himself. He is not the typical hero, but he is someone you can relate to, and his crew love him (in their own ways).

Since I was feeling nostalgic, and I love this song (it was the first one I taught myself when I tried to learn guitar). Here is the theme song, “The Ballad of Serenity,” from the series, Firefly. Also below is a video that I watched while working on this post, and I just couldn’t leave it out. So watch for some of the best quotes from the series and movie (my housemate who has never seen the show was laughing out loud as he heard some of these!)

So how many of you are Browncoats? Will any of you who haven’t seen the series watch it? I think I know what I am relaxing with this weekend, and in the words of Captain Mal, “I aim to misbehave!”

Until next time,

Book Review: Swords, Sorcery, & Sundry

Book Title: Swords, Sorcery, & Sundry
Author: Mina MacLeod

“Sylvain watches Niklas reveal the pastries, watches how Ashe leans back and doesn’t mind in the least. They’ve met such a short time ago, and yet here they are: the very best and closest of friends. Walls are dropped, boundaries are gone…Sylvain doesn’t want this to end. The prospect of leaving these two makes his heart twist painfully.”
Swords, Sorcery, & Sundry by Mina MacLeod

Final Verdict: A fun read for summer travels, which breaks many of the overused conventions in YA novels, and reminds you what good friends are! An added bonus is that it is just the start of a series.

For the full review, click the name of the book.

Random News: Missing the Mark

Hello Lovely Readers,

So sometimes when companies try to advertise their projects they completely miss the mark, and even worse sometimes they annoy the very people they were trying to entice. I have just run into that twice in this past week, so I thought I would share those with you guys.

The first is the new “teaser” trailer for the live action Cinderella movie. It Disney’s words that it is a “teaser” trailer, I would call it either a tease trailer or a blatant cop-out. France was in the office when I watched this and she can attest to my rather unimpressed reaction to the trailer. Basically I was looking forward to just a couple glimpses of the world, characters, anything. Instead the whole thing is just a computer generated shot of the glass slipper…yes that is all…Clearly I am still upset about this. It feels like they were supposed to release a trailer and did not have enough prepared and this was the best they could do. Personally, I think if that is all they have ready, then release a poster or a gif. Honestly, they just should not have bothered, because instead of making me more excited for the film, I am almost ready to write the movie off. What do you guys think, check out the “trailer” below.

The second one isn’t nearly as bad, but I still think they missed the mark. It is a slideshow of updated outfits that our favorite literary heroines might wear, which you can check out here. While it is kind of nice to flip through, the one thing that really stuck out to me was the price of all the items. These are not things that normal book readers would be able to afford, most of the items are ridiculously expensive. Now for some heroines this might work, but others like Lizzie Bennett who is a very practical woman, would probably not be found dead in these. So while I appreciate the effort, I feel like maybe they need to spend some more time getting to know these characters before they say what they would have worn!

What do you guys think, are there times when companies mess up so bad it puts you off a product? When or what was the last item to do that to you? Am I overreacting to my feelings to the Cinderella “trailer”?

Until next time,

 

Book Review: Into the Land of the Unicorns

Book Title: Into the Land of the Unicorns
Author: Bruce Coville

“There’s lots of kinds of chains. You can’t see most of them, the one’s that bind folks together. But people build them, link by link. Sometimes the links are weak, snap like this one did. That’s another funny thing, now that I think of it. Sometimes when you mend a chain, the place where you fix it is strongest of all.”
Into the Land of the Unicorns by Bruce Coville

Final Verdict:A great story for kids, with a strong little girl, some amazing creatures, and a great adventure.

For the full review, click the name of the book.

Book review: The Only Way

Book Title: The Only Way
Author: Jamie Sullivan

“People were cheering for you back there, every time you landed a punch on that guy. And do you know why? Because he was so much bigger than you. People love an underdog. Especially if that underdog can win.”
The Only Way by Jamie Sullivan

Final Verdict: A fast and good read, with a tough girl dressed as a male who gets the girl at the end, and there is excellent fist fighting!

For the full review, click the name of the book.

Random News: Movies Coming Out with Comic Book Women

Hello Lovely Readers,

So today is a bunch of news about women from comics and the movies we can expect them in. While I count myself a huge fan of comic book based movies I admit that I only follow Batwoman in actual comic books, so most of this information is based on what other people have said about the actual text.

The most recent exciting news is the tentative announcement of a solo Black Widow movie joining the Marvel franchise. There has been a lot of chatter about this for a long time, but until now it has seemed to come from the fanbase rather than the powers in charge. Right now it appears like we would get to see Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in her solo movie sometime after Winter Solider (this year) and The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), both of which she is supposed to have decent sized parts in. I am excited because Scarlett Johansson plays Black Widow very well, she is tough (with no super powers) but with a dark past, and honestly slightly ambiguous morals! All the things I love in my heroes. There is the added bonus that Joss Wedon may be the one behind the scenes, which based on many of his other strong female characters leaves me with optimism!

Over on the DC Comic side of cinema, there were some pictures from Gal Gadot of her bulking up to play Wonder Woman. While she will not have her own movie yet, she is set to have a part in the unnamed Superman/Batman movie and the following Justice League movie. It is likely after those films the powers in charge will decide if she gets her own movie. However, I am less confident in the portray from DC of essentially the most well known female hero and I am not alone as you can read here. The first concern is that she is only supposed to be a bit part alongside DC’s Big Two. Second, there are legitimate concerns about the director Zak Snyder. Against him is that generally his adaptation of Superman wasn’t that well received, and that is a hard back-story to mess up (admittedly I have not seen it, but I cannot stand Superman). More worrying to all the female fans who want a complex Wonder Woman who could have her own movie, is that Snyder does not have the best history with portraying strong women. While I enjoyed Sucker Punch it was not a strong female movie, instead it was more exploitation. While there is a chance that things could work out, I am not holding my breath, just like I am not holding it for the Superman/Batman movie. Knowing the industry as well, if Wonder Woman is not well received it will likely be at least 10 years before we see another female superhero.

Back over to Marvel, is that soon the Guardians of the Galaxy will be released (August), and the first trailers look rather promising. I find it exciting that we gt at least two interesting female characters. The first played by Zoe Saldana (who I loved in The Losers) is Gamora. She is described as the last of her race, a known solider and assassin with over a dozen counts of murder to her name! Second is played by Karen Gillan (of Doctor Who) who will be playing Nebula, a brutal space pirate and mercenary. Not only are these two ladies attractive, they are scary-fierce! I hope we see a good bit of them!

Last is the new 300 sequel, 300 Arise. I loved the first (especially since I had studied the Pass of Thermopylae in school) and honestly I am rather excited to see more in the same style. Even better is that it looks like we get two more strong ladies. The first is Lena Headey returning as Queen Gorgo. Opposite her is Eva Green as Artemisia, who seems to be the driving force behind threat to Sparta. Rather exciting is that these two are the top listed in IMDB, so hopefully that means we will be seeing a lot of them! If not I just hope this one is a fun to watch as the first!

To sum up my thoughts about Marvel versus DC comics, I found the picture below. While I love Batman and Batwoman, I find DC a bit slow and conservative. As far as movies go Marvel is winning hands down, but maybe DC will finally get their act together!

What do you guys think? Which movies/character are you most excited for?

Until next time,

Book Review: Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History without the Fairy-Tale Endings

Book Title: Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History without the Fairy-Tale Endings
Author: Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

Perhaps the best way to make sure that the fairy tale doesn’t become the expectation is to talk about real princesses and to stop turning their lives into fairy tales. Some real princesses were women who found themselves in circumstances they couldn’t control.”
Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

Final Verdict: A nice introduction to some of the interesting women who have held the title of Princess throughout the ages. A good book to read on holiday.

For the full review, click the name of the book.