Scarlet: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, science-fiction, fractured fairy tale, robots, young adult, yes you can frolic through a book because I said so
Rating: 4.53 out of 5 stars
Summary: Cyborg Cinder is on the run after escaping from her prison in New Beijing and one of her only supporters seem to be Scarlet Benoit over in France. But Scarlet is having some troubles of her own, specifically that her grandmother has gone missing and the police think no foul play is involved. With the help of the mysterious street fighter Wolf, Scarlet embarks on a journey to save her grandmother, not even knowing that her path with the wanted Cinder is about to collide thanks to some secrets in her own past.
Set directly after the first novel in the Lunar Chronicles: Cinder, Scarlet picks up right where its predecessor left off, with Cinder learning about her true Anastasia-style identity and being tasked with reclaiming what is rightfully hers: THE MOON! It’s that amazingly dramatic. Inter-twined with this story is the brand new tale of Scarlet, whose back story of woe was inspired by Little Red Riding Hood, complete with her preference for red hoodies and her new friend with a murky past: Wolf. In this case, a (sexy- I assume) fighter whose combatants nicknamed him after a wild canine.
Linking Cinder and Scarlet is the short story The Queen’s Army (The Lunar Chronicles 1.5) which follows Ze’ev, a young boy turned into a brand new breed of wolf to fight for the Lunar Queen, the evil Levana. He features heavily in Scarlet, and if you want absolutely no spoilers about Levana’s big bad
wolf plans, you should probably steer clear of it. However, if you don’t care that Snape killed Dumbledore, then I highly recommend giving it a read.
“Game of Thrones” Season Three Gets a Trailer… Kind Of (via On Wednesdays We Wear Pink)
“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder.” At least according to the slimy Lord Petyr Baelish who narrates the new “Game of Thrones” trailer. Sadly no new official footage is available from this season three video, just some eery close-ups of the characters faces while Littlefinger creepily discusses the nature of chaos. (Reminder: everyone you see will probably die.) We’ll take it though. It sure beats a trailer of a three-eyed raven flying around a modern city.
Splintered by A.G. Howard (Galley)
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Genre: Fiction, young adult, fractured fairy tale, fantasy, Wonderland, even worse than the Tim Burton one
Rating: 2.76 out of 5 stars
Summary: Alyssa Gardner is a descendent of Wonderland’s real life Alice, Alice Liddell, a fact which makes her the brunt of the jokes at her school. It also means her poor mother is locked in a mental institution, another victim of the Liddell curse. Alyssa doesn’t believe in such things, that is until she starts hearing bugs and flowers talk to her and she finds herself in a much different Wonderland determined to save her family once and for all. Will she escape? Assuredly. Will her one true love finally notice her? Most likely. Will you cringe the entire time at the plodding, complicated plot and painful writing? Definitely.
It’s been said in this blog before and I will say it a thousand more times just to get it through your skull, I LOVE ALL THINGS ALICE! I even wrote a post about it, expressing my love for the little blonde in the blue dress, but that’s doesn’t mean that all Alice adaptations hit the mark for me. And unfortunately – despite the amazingly atmospheric book cover that had me drooling in excitement – this take on Wonderland missed all the marks. Definitely do not judge this book by its cover, the outside far exceeds the inside. But oh how I wish it didn’t.
Splintered suffers from many problems, the first of which is the ridiculous portrayal of its heroine, Alyssa Gardner. Alyssa is desperately struggling to separate herself from her insane mother Alison who claims to be under the Wonderland curse which causes the sufferer to only eat things from a tea cup and to wear blue dresses, white aprons and headbands. You would think a family who believes in and fears said curse wouldn’t name all their female children after the Lewis Carroll heroine. Just saying.
“Game of Thrones” the Imaginary Video Fighting Game We Wish Was Real (via The Mary Sue)
Sadly this isn’t a real video game that you can play by frantically mashing buttons, nor is it even concept art for a future game. Sadly, it’s just some fan art from Robert Flores, albeit really really awesome fan art. Oh how we wish it were real! Check out more stills from this imaginary game over on Flores’ Deviant Art page. including a battle between Tyrion/Bronn and Cersei/Joffrey. Tyrion’s special skill is the ultimate slap fight.
We hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving stuffing your faces, arguing with relatives and getting too drunk to function. We know we did! <3
Robert Pattinson Hates Twilight, Oh And Also His Life (via Jezebel)
Robert Pattinson Hates His Life might be the best Tumblr of all time. The premise is simple, collect all the most amazing .gifs and quotes of Robert Pattinson hating on Twilight (and occasionally himself) and share them with the world. Gems include, “Surely there’s another way to get the creepy baby out of her stomach,” “Why are they still going to high school? They’re a hundred years old!” “I like the idea of him turning into a mermaid,” and “It’s terrible!” Robert Pattinson has no shame, and we love it.
In this post, from Aspen Comics: Idolized #3, Image Comics: Hack/Slash #19, and from Vertigo: Fables #122. Before Watchmen is on hiatus until November 14th, so you will have to wait to hear my ridiculous thoughts on Silk Spectre (the Watchmen crack-fic) until then.
Idolized #3 by David Schwartz, illustrated by Pasquale Qualano, David Curiel, cover by Micah Gunnell
Genre: Fiction, superheroes, action, satire
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
The reality superhero show continues and it looks like Joules will be disqualified from the competition because of her previous antics (i.e. underage drinking, fighting). Of course, business executives being business executives decide to parley this into a ratings boost because let’s be honest, this is more about entertainment than about finding a viable superhero. Just like real reality TV! Oxymoron? This issue is particularly enjoyable because it covers the best part of any reality television show: MAKEOVERS! The group gets new costumes, new identities, and a new look. It’s “America’s Next Top Model” but with superheroes and definitely no smizing.
There is one very large problem with this comic however and that’s Joule, who is not the most likeable narrator. You feel bad because of her tragic back story, but it’s tiring to hear her complain about it all the time. “Blah blah blah, I’m sad that my family is dead.” We get it, you’re lonely and depressed, it sucks to be you, but try to have a life outside of your circumstances, YOU HAVE SUPERPOWERS! This is the occasional problem with teenage girl protagonists. Although having to try and stop the events of September 11th in a simulation for the entertainment of the masses is a tad much for anyone.
In this post, from Dark Horse Comics: Once Upon a Time Machine, DC Comics: Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #2, and from Image Comics: Saga Volume 1. Comic releases are always so few and far between the day before Comic-Con, so have one comic and two trades!
Dark Horse Comics
Once Upon a Time Machine [edited] by Andrew Carl and Chris Stevens
Genre: Fiction, fractured fairy tales, science-fiction, anthology
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
This retelling of classic fairy tales from favorites like “The Three Little Pigs” to “Goldilocks” and even “The Three Musketeers” is all about the merging of classic literature and science fiction. It’s an interesting concept for an anthology that features short stories from a variety of artists and illustrators. Although since it’s sci-fi, most of them have the inclusion of robots or aliens. Goldilocks is now a little girl with silver hair who moves outside the colony’s encampment perimeter and wreaks havoc. Pinnochio is a machine created to hold all human knowledge and always tell the truth. You get the idea. Fairy tales plus rocket ships and space.
The problem this anthology suffers is the same fate of any anthology- not all the stories can be good. There is the same clear delineation of good stories, okay stories, and stories you hate but slog through to get to something better. Unfortunately, what makes this worse is that interspersed between the stories there are double spread illustrated re-interpretations of fairy tales (mermaids watching aliens, gingerbread men being marched into ovens, bionic girl in red hoods) whose concepts are often more interesting than the stories in the anthology itself. I wish I could read those stories. One the whole, they seem to be the more interesting takes on fairy tales, and also focus on much more popular/recognizable works. A slight misstep from the publisher, but a fun interesting new look at fairy tales nonetheless. Especially recommended for sci-fi fans! Blech (AKA not me).
In this post, from Aspen Comics: Dead Man’s Run #3, DC Comics: Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #3, Image Comics: Walking Dead #102, and from Vertigo: Fables #121. I’m sensing a numbers theme here.
Dead Man’s Run #3 by Greg Pak, illustrated by Tony Parker, cover by Tony Parker
Genre: Fiction, Hell, action, serial-killers
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
When last we left our Hell-bound heroes the plan to escape the literal prison of Hell was going well. The incarcerated Captain Romero had successfully arranged for the death of prison cartographer Sam Tinker in an attempt to escape, the dangerously attractive warden was being mysteriously vague, and a prison break was well underway. This issue keeps up the action and violence (not to mention buckets of blood and nefarious figures). It’s like the best episode of “Prison Break”, but set in the underworld. So it features more demons and angel blood, AKA gold. I still wouldn’t cut Castiel open, even if his insides are made of precious minerals.
Sam and company are occupied on the 4th level of Hell- the glutton level- where they join up with serial-killer Helen and Musa the engineer who has some impressive and magical lock-picking skills. Murderers and thieves are awfully helpful when escaping Hell, but can you trust them not to stab you in the back? I have a feeling this will be a more prominent theme as the series progresses. Particularly because Sam is desperately trying to save his innocent sister who was dragged down with him. It would also be interesting to see why they named the entrance to Hell the Andrew Jackson Maximum Security Federal Corrections Facility. Do you think he’s cool with that?
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer (Advanced Reader Copy)
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Genre: Fiction, childrens, fractured fairy tales, fantasy, should have hired a ghostwriter
Rating: 2.87 out of 5 stars
Summary: Twins Conner and Alex’s lives are turned upside down when they fall into the Land of Stories, a book full of fairy tales. After being befriended by a talking frog conveniently named Froggy, the twins learn that in order to get home they must collect the items needed for the Wishing Spell, a wish that will allow them to return home. What follows is an adventure full of situations where our dynamic duo needs neither brains nor brawn to assure their success. Just a ton of good luck.
Here we go, another book written by a celebrity. Trust me, it’s not ghost written, but maybe it should have been. I am always a little reticent to pick up a celebrity book (you will not see me with Tyra Bank’s Modelland or anything by Snooki, Hilary Duff, and Lauren Conrad). That’s not to say if it’s written by a celebrity, that it’s automatically awful- John Lithgow and Fred Gwynne wrote great children’s books, and Carrie Fisher has two hysterical memoirs. There’s nothing wrong with celebrities writing if they’re actually good at it. However, if they’re given a book deal based on their celebrity alone, that’s when I have a problem.
As you may have gleaned from my BEA wrap up, I had high hopes for this novel. It covers one of my favorite genres: fractured fairy tales and the concept sounded intriguing: two twins fall into the land of fairy tales and meet Queen Riding Hood, discover that Goldilocks is a wanted woman, and the Evil Queen is wreaking havoc across the land. Unfortunately, it fell short of all my expectations. Even the pretty cover and interior artwork (all by Brandon Dorman) couldn’t save the book this time. Nice try publicity team, trying to trick me into thinking this was a good children’s book.
Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, science-fiction, fractured fairy tale, robots, young adult, I heart Fiewel and Friends
Rating: 4.67 out of 5 stars
Summary: Cinder is the best mechanic in all of New Beijing, and a cyborg to boot, living a thankless life of servitude to her guardian Adri. When Prince Kai shows up at her booth one day with a broken android, Cinder’s life is thrown in turmoil. Her sister Peony catches the deadly blue fever, and Cinder is volunteered to test plague antidotes as punishment, learning life altering things about her own destiny in the process.
This debut novel from author Marissa Meyer is scheduled to be the first of four in a series titled The Lunar Chronicles, with the remaining books scheduled between 2013 and 2015. The novels themselves are rumored to contain other fairy tale retellings in addition to Cinder’s journey, from Little Red Riding Hood in Scarlet, to Rapunzel in Cress, and Snow White in Winter. Since Cinder leaves off on such an obvious cliffhanger, I’m curious to see how she interweaves Cinder’s plot with the other heroines’ stories. If only I didn’t have to wait another year to find out. Patience is not my strong suit.
Unlike other fractured fairy tales, Meyer thinks far outside the box, setting her tale in a futuristic Asia known as New Beijing, in which cyborgs are second class citizens with few freedoms. Due to the ramifications of a 4th World War, a Commonwealth has been created between several nations, in order to secure long lasting peace for the world. Unfortunately, the Lunars, a race who diverged from the first human colonies on the moon are threatening this peace, seeking a royal marriage with an Earthen to take over the planet. It’s not a perfect world, but at least its not boring.