Star Wars The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer, Good or Bad?

So, I am a couple of watches into the teaser trailer and I still can’t believe overall how bad it is.  I know most people may disagree but consider it main elements:

  1. Stormtrooper close up in desert,
  2. Young female on some sort of vehicle speeding off,
  3. Hooded figure walking in snowy woods
  4. Millennium Falcon.

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Jabberwocky – When Words Have Power

jabberwocky“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

This is an extract from Jabberwocky a poem by Lewis Carol, written for his daughter as a bed time story. The use of invented words run strong through the poem, regardless and because of this it is a joy to read. I have said it before and am likely to say it again, Words Have Power, even made up ones.

“Words inspire, pages turn and what we
read can influence and inspire us.
When our literary heroes strengthen and shape
our ideas something truly beautiful happens.”

Fergus McCartan

The idea behind this quick post is highlight the importance of how words engage us. For me books provide an engagement that TV or Movies cannot provide. You may watch a TV show for 30mins and then never watch it again, but with a book you can read it over and over again and each time get a feeling of escapism or interrupt a passage differently focusing something that is happening in your life. Books provide me stress relief, a way to shut out the external noise and troubles and explore a new world from inside someone else’s mind.

It’s not important the genre you read, it can be fiction, non-fiction or even comics (“graphic novels”), what’s important is books open worlds of knowledge, happiness and sadness. They can bring people together, even if they are just literary figures.

Take strength from words and go enjoy a book, magazine or even a dirty limerick, it will open a world of possibilities and stay with you longer than any TV show.

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The War is Over – Amazon & Hachette end dispute.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/technology/amazon-hachette-ebook-dispute.html

Firstly, I am really glad for the authors that this has finally been resolved, because it was they in the long run that suffered.

Throughout the dispute I have unable to kick who was David and who was Goliath, the only thing I knew for sure was the reader and authors were the stone.  On one hand, Amazon much like Apple provide the content to readers, books (apps in the case of Apple) and control the medium it is received on, Kindle (iphone/app store for Apple).  In each of these cases they are self-perpetuating machines, used in financial control and gain, but being a business isn’t this expected.  The saving grace from the Amazon/Hachette saga is that Amazon wanted cheaper pricing for the books they provided and while not completely altruistic (cheaper books = more sales = more profit or volume versus capacity) the reader/buyer would be the ultimate winner, as they would pay a cheaper price for the material.

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Lets get those chainsaws going, The Evil Dead is back as TV Series!

“I have seen the dark shadows moving in the woods and

I have no doubt that whatever I have resurrected through this book is sure to come crawling…

for me.”

evildeadI’ll be honest, super excited about this one, especially as Bruce Campbell is on board!

http://www.tvrage.com/news/11121/groovy-evil-dead-coming-to-starz

Who else is super excited?

Book Review – Shattered by Kevin Hearne

My review of Shattered by Kevin Hearne

http://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk/Kevin-Hearne/Shattered.html

Eoghan O Cinneide Arch Druid of an order now long forgotten, has been released from a timeless state by Atticus. Taking the name Owen Kennedy he must navigate the perils and wonders of the modern World. A friend and father figure to Atticus, another Druid will aid Atticus in the coming war with Loki. Granualie is finally a full Druid and when her father goes missing, she must go alone to track him down, but all is not as it seems.   A traitor long hidden will finally be revealed, some pain cuts deeper the closer they are to home.

There is a lot happening in Shattered for each of the characters. Kevin is giving each hero a chance to branch out and shine in his or her own plot. Atticus and Owen are initially off by themselves. Atticus is teaching Owen the ways of the microbreweries, phones, TV, toilet paper and indoor plumbing. Granuaile is off in search of her missing father.

I didn’t mind this breakup of the story; we get the opportunity to see how Granuaile operates when alone, she definitely lives up to her Elemental name Fierce Druid. Eventually, even Atticus and Owen part ways and we are left with three distinct tales, which, while I can see where necessary for plot development I didn’t feel they had the same effect or feel on the storyline engagement. It wasn’t until the characters merged back again into a single arc that you feel involved once more.

The injection of Owen at the end of Hunted was a great idea and we get to see this new personality develop further in Shattered (I am waiting for him to die heroically in a future scene, but I think we will get another couple of books out of him yet). Owen’s personality is very different to Atticus’s who is confident, calm and controlled. I would say he leans a bit more towards Granuaile’s fiery temperament.

The differences are more notable when it comes how Owen interacts with other people; he is more straightforward and direct. His exchanges with the wolf pack add a new dynamic I think is needed if the pack is to play a positive role in Atticus’ war. Atticus in the story lately hasn’t made any friends in those circles.

What popped for me and brought some needed humor to the story was the internal dialogue for Owen as he tries to accommodate and acclimate to his new world. Atticus and Granuaile are portrayed currently in serious modes and the usual playoff from Oberon and Atticus is reduced as the Loki war progresses, so these social and cultural learning’s that Owen is going through are very welcome.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still some really good elements of humor in the story. Two of the best being, Yeti’s wanting a hockey rink built in the Himalayas and the still ever-clever idea of the bacon of immortal health, which I still love

– SPOILER – We finally get an insight into who has been manipulating and helping Atticus over the years. We are shown that the power of a single prayer directed to a cabal of Gods, is like a pebble that starts a landslide. Thinking himself clever for a number of years, evading and hiding information from the gods, Jesus, Perun, Oden and Brighid now only to find out they have known all his secrets all along and have been helping him without his knowing was a nice addition, and I’ll be honest I didn’t see it coming.

I was however a little disappointed to find out who the traitor was amount the Tuatha De Danann. The identify of the traitor has been hinted at previously, but I found this person and their reasoning for betrayal to be fairly flimsy and somewhat disappointing. There is a fairly good final confrontation due to this revelation, but I did wish it had been a larger twist.

The epilogue for Atticus, Granuaile and Owen is one of more trouble to come and I like that I can see which way and how it will be shaped in the next book.

If I am being completely honest, I did feel a little unsatisfied with the intensity level of the book. Each part of the story was good, but that’s as far as it went, I was never really committed to the events as they unfolded and didn’t feel drawn in the way I hoped. I think the best way I can term Shattered is, a great introduction for the character Owen.

A nice addition in the Iron Druid series, something to build up future stories on, but it did lack a little of that old spark.

7/10

For even more reviews, author interviews and biographies, check out the site Fantasy Book Review.

My Companion Song to ‘I see Fire’ by Ed Sheeran – Flame upon the Lake

A Companion Song I wrote  for ‘I see Fire’ by Ed Sheeran.  I try to outlay the flight, fight and death of Smaug by Bard, touching briefly on the Battle of Five Armies and the death of Thorin.

Flame upon the lake

Water, fire and home,
Long lake aside distant peak
Fear flight beasts fiery breath
Icy grip red embrace and final judgement

Wrath upon the wind
Gleeful hate and blacken heart
A poets resolve as bloods calls
Fools risk with tempest mast

Raised bow composed eye
Legacies failing no final hold
Black arrows trust
Loosed hope and long reach

Flame upon the lake
Fire from above
Flame and water
Ablaze my home
Flame within the wave
Dragons gasp white as the sun
Flame upon the lake
Havens end and souls release
Exiles path beneath mountain view

Arrows flight a breach bared
Centres demise beneath the glass
A high end and victories hope
Stock and land evenness’s scale

Golds spell a minds weakness
Five by death and friends grip
Groteques advent and wild tooth
Nobel demise a shallow gain

Flame upon the lake
Fire from above
Flame and water
Ablaze my home
Flame within the wave
Dragons gasp white as the sun
Flame upon the lake
Havens end souls release
Exiles path beneath mountain view

Flame upon the lake (my home alights),
And still flame upon the lake (lost to the depths)
And still Flame upon the lake (beneath the misty eye of mountain)
No more flame upon the water, all light consumed

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