Thursday, November 22, 2012

Breaking Dawn Part 2 - Movie Review by Shalini Boland

I wouldn’t class myself as a Twihard, but I loved the books and I loved the movies. So maybe I am. Okay I definitely am. I’m a Twihard. My birthday also happens to be in November, so it’s a no-brainer that my husband would buy me tickets to see  Breaking Dawn for my birthday treat this year (and last year).
I didn’t read any of the reviews before I went. Firstly, I don’t like spoilers and secondly, what would be the point? I knew most of the press would pan it. Liking Twilight would ruin their coolness. Me, I like a bit of heart-on-the-sleeve paranormal romance. I also like the classics, zombie horror and the X-Factor. I’m not ashamed of my tastes. I embrace them ;)
So anyway, back to the movie. We’d left BD Part 1 with Bella having given birth to Renesmee and finally she had transformed into a beautiful red-eyed vampire. Now, in BDP2, we see a shift in Bella’s attitude. She is finally who she wants to be and she looks good on it. I loved watching Edward’s reaction to her as she masters her vamp skills. Robert Pattinson’s proud/amused smile is perfection as Stewart kicks ass. I bet she absolutely loved playing ‘Bella the vampire’.
The only ‘off’ bit in the whole film for me was the baby Renesmee - They did that annoying thing where they put CGI adult expressions onto a baby face which only ever results in creepy babyness. Don’t do it, Hollywood people. Do not do it. Step away from the CGI machine and leave the baby alone.
I thought Taylor Lautner portrayed Jacob really tastefully, considering the whole ‘imprinting’  scenario. I wouldn’t have wanted that role – it’s a bit icky. Funnily enough, I didn’t find it at all questionable in the books, but when faced with the adult Jacob and the child Renesmee on the big screen I did curl my toes a little.
The Volturi were their usual terrifying selves: Jane always makes me shudder with her ‘pain’ thing and Caius and Alec are the archetypal baddies. But it was Michael Sheen as Aro who truly shone. He outdid himself. I think he was the star of the whole movie. I loved how delectably evil he was. I almost wanted him to do a proper wicked laugh like the Count in Sesame Street (okay, that would’ve ruined the movie, but it would’ve been fun!).
Now I was worried that this second part of BD might fall a bit flat as a movie. I couldn’t see how they would make an ending deserving of such a great series, but boy was I wrong. I did not see that one coming. I’m not going to ‘spoil’ a thing, but as I watched the climax, I was thinking ‘what the…!!’ and ‘they can’t do that!’ But they did do that and they did it brilliantly. Yes. Yes they did.
All in all, Breaking Dawn Part 2 was the perfect combination of visual spectacle, action, love and humour. Sure there were a few clunky moments and the CGI wasn’t as smooth as I would’ve liked, but in the overall context of the Twilight Saga novels and movies, it was the perfect ending to a cracking series.
And now I’m sad it’s over. Shalini Boland.
Read more about Shalini Boland, Author - HERE

If you have enjoyed this post, please share. Many thanks. Patti Roberts.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Reading List: The Blood that Binds - A Review of Paradox: Bound By Blood

Book review by Megan:

 Just because Juliette has returned doesn't mean that either she or Grace is safe. The Grigori are still waging a war against the Burgardians. Even worse, the Grigori have brought their fight to the new world and Grace must use clues from Juliette's past to prepare for new and unseen dangers. But time is running out for both women and with their enemies close will they be able to recognize friend from foe?
*May contain minor spoilers!*

Surprises are everywhere in Bound by Blood, Patti Roberts' third book in her Paradox series. One of the things that I love about this series is that I probably care about the secondary characters just as much as I care about the primary characters.

In the third book we learn more about Grace's friend Angela who I mentioned in an earlier review is one of my favorite characters in the series. Angela had only been a secondary character up to this point and her main role was to sort of look out for Grace. Her background is further explored in this book and her wit and cynical nature begins to make sense considering that Angela isn't exactly what she appears to be...

We learn more about the House of Grigori  and we begin to find out just how evil this band of vampires can be Abaddon can be downright ruthless. We also find out the reason behind for Cerberus' less ruthless tactics. Don't get me wrong. I don't want you to think he drinks pigs blood and is on the road to redemption, but he is less heartless than his brother Abaddon. His back story is surprising and not at all what I expected.

Grace still has incredibly detailed dreams about Juliette's past lives, but now that Juliette has finally made herself known it seems like Grace's dreams continue to get more intense. It's clear that there is something more to Juliette and there's almost the feeling that she wasn't just human? But only time will tell.

It has been a long time since I read a series where I felt that each book successfully added to the overall storyline. The Paradox series as a whole does this and does it well. Roberts makes sure that each action or explanation moves the plot along in a swift but easy to follow manner. This helps the reader get to know the characters but doesn't take unnecessary detours with side plots.
Roberts also does a wonderful job with the scenes between Damon and Juliette. Their interactions are so heart wrenching and sad you can't help but tear up. This coming from the girl who likes romance novels as much as she likes root canals. Which is not at all.
The key is that the romantic bits are done tastefully, are believable and don't overtake the entire story. 
Bound by Blood is a great third addition to the series. It combines numerous supernatural elements and creatures in a way that makes sense and adds to the intricate world of Altair. The ending was shockingly suspenseful... and I can't wait for the fourth book!
 Rating: 5/5
 Bound By Blood - Amazon - HERE  All other ebook formats - HERE

Book 1 The Angels Are Here - HERE 99c
Book 2 Progeny Of Innocence -  currently free - HERE

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Book Review By Ella Medler - Deadly Addiction By Kristine Cayne

Deadly Addiction is book two in the Deadly Vices series. I have read book one, Deadly Obsession, and I have enjoyed it very much. When I picked up Deadly Addiction, I expected improvement, of course, but what I didn’t expect was how thoroughly dynamite it was. Kristine Cayne has topped all my expectations with this book.

I found the background of relationships between the Iroquois and the perceived white oppressors a stroke of genius, perfectly observed and relayed with all its contemporary intricacies and complications. I learned a lot, and at the same time I was able to identify with and understand a lot of the predicaments faced by mixed-race individuals and the hurdles they must jump in order to be accepted.

The storyline touches lightly on book one, but the plot is a complete story in its own right, very well spun, with clever twists, and presenting the characters with circumstances that pose moral and ethical questions, besides the simple challenges posed by physical attraction and, in Alyssa’s case, staying alive.

The characters are real and believable, easy to identify with and engaging. I especially enjoyed the part where sweet Alyssa has one drink too many – that was so funny. The fine humour in the dialogue is pure skill.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fast-moving story. I didn’t want to put the book down, and the last fifty pages or so were an uninterrupted adrenaline rush. The ending was very satisfying, even better than the one I envisaged and I absolutely loved Kristine for coming up with such a smart solution to a very real problem.

There are only five stars I can award to any book, and I have to say Deadly Addiction more than deserves every single shiny star there is. If I could award it more, I would. This is one author I will definitely keep an eye on. Ella Medler gives this book a "Life Changing Read" Award

 Ella's Blog - HERE
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