Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Book Review

http://jawkwardlol.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/c11cb-dogam_hb.jpg?w=411&h=633

Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy

Author: Laini Taylor

Publisher: Little, Brown & Company

What an end! And a beginning? Dreams of Gods and Monsters does what all good closers do, leave room for the imagination. With 600+ pages to work with Taylor weaves an, at times dizzying, conclusion to a rather elaborately constructed narrative. There’s a satisfactory end, I suppose, even though we’re left with the sense that the story is far from over.

We were left in a lurch, following the events of the Days of Blood and Starlight and it seemed like Taylor wanted to extend that suspense, setting us up for some grade A plot-twists. Taylor has a flair for ornate prose which, while undeniably gorgeous, can at times become slightly finicky.

Chimaera and the Seraphs face an even bigger danger than themselves, human weapons- Jael is trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction all the while there’s an even bigger danger on the grandest of scales.

We’re going to be honest with you, this has been sitting here in drafts for a long time- so it’s time for a super-fast-rundown of my feels and a super-fast-post because I’m sure you’re dying to know what I thought about the conclusion to DoSaB Trilogy.

- The beginning was confusing, like who introduces a finale with a completely new character that seemingly has nothing to do with the story so far? Of course all is revealed in a way that makes you go ‘oooooh deus ex machina’ much?

- There were enough moments where you wanted to punch both Karou and Akiva in the face.

- The villains were sufficiently villainous. Well done.

- Ziri was the best.

All in all this book did what it was supposed to do, the ending was left open to show that everything wasn’t neatly tied up but things were mending- or on the mend. However I can’t say I loved it as much as the first or second book.

shrug animated GIF

Spoiler Corner:

- I sorta saw Ziri and Liraz coming, it made complete sense tbh.

Trevor Noah To Tour NZ In October!

NEW ZEALAND TOUR 2014
 

 
“Hilarious. All the LOLs.”
– JawkwardLOL 

 
If you all wanna know (‘where does this lightning come from’ – you’d get that if you’ve seen his stand-up Crazy Normal you’ll find the clip at the end of this post, because I’m nice and it’s too funny not to show you) when Trevor Noah was coming back, well he’s returning to New Zealand for a national tour in October, after his Auckland-only shows in 2013 completely sold out!
 
The South African comedian, who’s achieved international acclaim, was born a mixed-race child under Apartheid in South Africa to a Swiss father and South African (Xhosa) mother Noah and challenges the status quo through his unique perspective. Offering commentary on politics, race-relations and anything that takes his fancy, and tickles our funnybone, Noah is a delight to watch. That is he can walk that fine line between black and white like nobody’s business, breaking down cultural flaws on all sides and finding our mutual connections through laughter and his eloquent storytelling. 
  
Over the last two years Trevor has had an unparalleled run of sold out shows across the world including his one man show at the Edinburgh Fringe (presented by Eddie Izzard), an unprecedented South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa tour, a 30-performance theatre run in Australia and New Zealand, 8 weeks of shows in New York City and finally, a UK and European theatre tour which included selling out the Hammersmith Apollo in London.
Elephant Publicity & Adrian Bohm 
 
TICKETS GO ON SALE WEDNESDAY 23 JULY 9am
 
AUCKLAND              ASB THEATRE             FRIDAY 24TH OCTOBER
Book at Ticketmaster 0800 111 999
www.ticketmaster.co.nz
 
FOR THE FIRST TIME!
WELLINGTON          OPERA HOUSE            SATURDAY 25TH OCTOBER
Book at 0800Ticketek
www.ticketek.co.nz
 
FOR THE FIRST TIME!
CHRISTCHURCH       AURORA CENTRE       MONDAY 27TH OCTOBER
Book at 0800Ticketek
www.ticketek.co.nz
 

Tokyo Ghoul – ‘Tragic’ Review

tokyoghoulSo this gem was added to the AnimeLab list of shows on Friday, based on the manga of the same name by Sui Ishida, and I thought ‘hey that looks interesting, let’s see what it is’. Without even reading the synopsis, or watching the trailer (no I haven’t read the manga), I played the episode. And holy shih tzu was I unprepared for the gore after binge-watching Ouran High School Host Club and School Rumble but hot damn is it awesome. Seriously, so good.

I suppose the scary-faced fella in the picture above, and the name Tokyo Ghoul, should’ve given me an indication of what I was in for but my eyes still widened at the very first scene. Horror. It’s a full-fledged psychological horror set in modern-day Tokyo, where creatures called ghouls look like humans for the most part but have an insatiable hunger for human flesh (where are Sam and Dean when Tokyo needs them?). People in society are aware of the existence of ghouls, and from the looks of things they’re basically an accepted hazard, like roaming lions- not the best comparison. Tokyo Ghoul follows our main protagonist Ken Kaneki, nice bookish Ken, whose bad dating choice lands him in a dire situation.

Check out the trailer below if, unlike me, you like seeing what you’re in for.

Readers of the still-ongoing manga will already know, and be epically excited for, the extremely dark outlook of this anime. The first episode, beautifully and sharply animated, successfully sets the tone.  Whether or not you’re a reader of the manga you’re sure to be engrossed. The anime isn’t without comic relief which comes in the form of Ken’s bestie, Hide (Hideyoshi Nagachika) a goofball. The characters are likeable enough more importantly a badass female character, Toka Kirishima! I shan’t say too much about her lest I spoil the one slight twist, however she does remind me of Mikasa from Attack on Titan.

While some aspects of the episode were predictable the episode overall is a great start, the internal conflict, Ken is faced with, gradually builds as he realises what he’s become, the fight sequences are brilliant and the gore is well gruesome innit? Apparently the manga is excellent and I’ll be sure to get on that because waiting week-to-week for a fix will suck. This will be me after each episode with the thought of a whole week to wait:

New episodes every Friday on AnimeLab I hope. Also, we’ll also be getting the first episode of Terror in Resonance which looks absolutely amazing in a different way. Trailer below!

Zetman Series Collection – DVD Review

Zetman, released in Australasia in June, is the anime adaptation of a long-running manga of the same name by Masakazu Katsura. The manga, inspired by the author’s great love for the iconic Batman and Devilman, centers around two rival heroes: Jin Kanzaki (ZET) and Kouga Amagi (Alphasz).

Jin has the ability to transform into a superhuman being, ZET, and Kouga uses technology (available due to his family’s wealth) to fight as Alphasz. They fight to protect mankind and destroy monstrous abominations known as Players, created -ironically- by the Amagi Corporation, the company founded by Kouga’s grandfather, Mitsugai Amagi.

Sounds like an interesting watch, right? It sure did start out that way, the beginnings of interesting protagonists and intriguing backstories, but by episode four or five you’re basically rage-watching. Jin turns out to be rather boring and every word that came out of Kouga’s mouth made me want to scratch the inside of my skull. Not to mention the fact that the female characters felt weak and the villains were a bit two-dimensional, if not one. The rest of the character list followed suit.

You can’t fault the animation, however, the Players were creepy as hell and the fight scenes were brilliant, however that’s all the anime had going for it, really. The animators removed and/or altered various portions of the original story in an attempt to fit it into 13 episodes, so while the premise was interesting the anime fell short of captivating.

See and judge for yourself, grab the DVD from Madman Entertainment here.

Specs:

- Released 08/05/14
– Two Discs containing 13 episodes
– English dub or orginal Japanese with English subtitles

 

 

Legend of Korra’s Return to Top Form: Book Three Premiere


The Legend of Korra is back! And it’s brilliant! In fact I would hazard to assert that the first three episodes of Book Three: Change were better than the first half of Book Two: Spirits, and if it continues on in this fashion I can only see it growing stronger. Book Two was hampered down by some messy storylines and out-of-control romance-filled angst- only really picking up in the second half with the heavy focus placed on the spirit world. As we know Book Three will see Team Avatar dealing with a post-Harmonic Convergence world, wherein which humans and spirits must try to exist together.

The new season of Legend of Korra has everything that endeared Avatar The Last Airbender to the fans in the first place, moments of friendship, powerful characters, hilarity, interesting villains and a sense of adventure- that last one was especially missing last season. Basically LOK is serving up the nostalgia while still managing to distinguish itself from its parent show.

Heads up, spoilers ahead!

What we saw in the first three episodes we’d like to continue to see:

Bromance – The ease of Korra and Asami’s friendship, I loved loved LOVED how they dealt with the whole messy romance plot from the season before. There was the potential to continue on the angst but DiMartino and Konietzko did away it in one fell swoop.
This also includes Mako and Bolin’s strong sibling relationship and OMG FINDING THEIR FATHER’S FAMILY!!!!

- ZUKO (AND HE HAS A DRAGON)!

Zuko’s still as awkward as ever, only he would reminisce about his failed attempts to kill Aang.

THIS: Saying goodbye to angsty teenaged romance

and hello to the fandom’s newest (harmless *knock on wood because let’s not jinx it*) ship.

- And of course, BENDING, ALL THE EPIC BENDING!