Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass book 6)
Tower of Dawn is a weird one. It doesn’t follow the usual character of Aelin who we know and love, but instead is written from the point of view of Chaol, the previous Captain of the guard and Aelin’s first friend in the series, and Nesryn, who was introduced in Queen of Shadows (Book 4).
I knew this when I bought it, and because of the way Empire of Storms ended (no spoilers here, don’t worry), I really wasn’t keen to read it. I was so tempted to carry on with the main story and ignore this book altogether, but I’d read several comments and reviews saying ToD contained key plot points that would be vital to the final book. I’m so glad I did. Honestly I spent the last few chapters in tears, because I was so attached to the characters and the ending was so damn dramatic (in a good way!).
We find ourselves in the rich, warm desert city of Antica, the capital city of the Southern Continent. Sarah J. Maas makes it so easy to fall in love with this world, which is extremely beneficial considering we have only heard the smallest of hints about this land, with people we have had absolutely no mention of previously, aside from Chaol and Neryn. The writing style is so familiar and straightforward that you feel completely at ease getting to know these characters more, from the tumultuous royal family to the welcoming city folk. Honestly, the book doesn’t feel out of place at all, mostly due to the consistency in Maas’ writing. You start to love and empathise with Chaol (I know he wasn’t the most popular character in the first few books), learning more about his traumatic upbringing and getting to know his thoughts about Aelin, Dorian, and the horrors that have befallen them over the last few years. The character development from Chaol as he journeys through his recovery is just so gratifying, watching him go from a broken, self-hating soldier, to a soulful human being capable to true love.
I love love love all the strong female characters that Maas brings to life, and Yrene is no exception. She is so smart and driven, and regardless of the trauma she’d been through, she never fails to see the good in people, especially Chaol.
Something I’ve noticed is that Maas is very good at slipping in LGBTQ+ characters into the books. However, they only tend to be ‘extra’ characters, and have only appeared/been revealed from books 5 and onwards, almost as an afterthought. I naturally get very excited (because yay for representation!) when I read these characters, but then get disappointed knowing it will never be part of the greater plot. There’s definitely a redeeming factor in that Chaol is the only white character in the book, which is pretty unheard of in the YA Fantasy genre.
Maas is an absolute master of the dramatic reveal - and not in the way that makes you roll your eyes and say ‘oh come on’. No, these twists actually make so much sense with the lore of the world, and holy cow the setup and worldbuilding is extraordinary. It’s so interesting to see how the different continents talk about different creatures and myths, and how the various legends tie together to weave a complex story full of surprises.
I’m so desperate to read the final installment, but I’m disappointed that the series has to come to an end. I know the last book (Kingdom of Ash) will be an epic conclusion to a series that has gotten me back into reading in a way that I haven’t been since I was a teenager. I will be forever grateful for that, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
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When I hear about a book that specifically focuses on a relationship, that’s a clear sign to me. I have to read it. So I obviously had to take a detour to DC comics and there are absolutely no regrets.
Harleen goes back into the origins of Harley Quinn, and focuses heavily on her relationship and infatuation with Joker. This relationship is by definition interesting due to its obviously toxic nature. Plus, it’s been around for a long time, and only recently officially ended on all accounts. (In this case I mean more the minds of fans and common perception).
If you ask me, this breakup was perfectly timed. Because regardless of how it came to be, it was a very good example of how a dysfunctional love (or codependence) could work. And now it serves even better as a roadmap, showing all the red flags. I’m not saying it’s easy to see them, just saying it’s all there.
So this is the wackiness that I had to do just to post my review for Shadow Fall on Tumblr. I emailed a copy of the word document containing my review to myself. Copied and pasted it into a text document on Tumblr mobile. Then posted it. Then went into the post editor option on the update and edited it from there to get the old text post editing options. What are you doing Tumblr staff? This is such a headache
Why I Had to Rewatch One Cut of the Dead - 07/13/2020
One Cut of the Dead which came out in 2017 is one of the best new zombie movies that I have seen, and the best thing about it is that it’s not even really a zombie movie. Before I go any further, I have to issue a spoiler warning, because there is no way I can extensively talk about this movie without giving away the twists it contains, and the twists are really what make this movie great. Because of how new the movie is, and how little is currently known about it with the mainstream audience, I feel it is best to let you all know that you simply must watch it first before you go any further. It is currently streaming on the Shudder channel, and you can get a free trial subscription for the channel when you first sign up at any time.
The movie is in subtitles, so you will have to actively watch it and not just browse on your phone at the same time, like I can also be guilty of doing. If you have a problem with this, then please, get over it. This movie is so worth the watch, and you’ll be glad that you did watch it. Now that we’ve got the disclaimer out of the way, let’s delve deeper into what this movie is all about, and why I had to rewatch it.
The movie starts with a girl being attacked by a zombie, but we then quickly see that this is merely a take on the set of a horror film. The director emotionally goes off on the cast in a very Stanley Kubrick type of way, and we then follow the cast interactions between this and their next take. As the scene starts going on, I soon realize watch I’m watching. This movie is all being done in one very long take. I quickly connect the title of the film with what I’m seeing, and I conclude that this entire movie is going to be done in one very long take. An impressive feat to pull off for any movie, and the first time I would have seen such a thing.
I often see long takes used by directors before, and it’s always an impressive thing to watch and realize that that is what’s happening as you watch it. Joss Whedon has done it multiple times in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Quentin Tarantino has done it for artistic effect as well. But, these were done just for single scenes, and I have never before seen it done for an entire movie. This instantly had One Cut of the Dead grab my attention, as I needed to see just how they were going to pull this off.
As I was watching this one long take, I started to notice little things that seemed out of place, or just very obvious screenwriting tropes that would belong in a film by lazy filmmakers, even though doing a film in one take is the last thing a lazy filmmaker would ever do. The scene where the actor talks about not having any cell coverage is a well-known modern trope in horror films, and I thought it was very blatant to point it out. The one girl finding a very conveniently placed axe and oddly pointing it out also stuck out like a sore thumb to me. At times, the director would pop out of nowhere to shout for the camera to keep rolling as his cast was being attacked by real zombies. During one moment, the camera would linger on the young actress for an awkward amount of time. Perhaps the strangest thing was when a character who was killed with the axe would just randomly pop up in frame and scream with the axe still sticking out of her head, before falling back down again. Then finally, there is this strange start and stop sequence as the final zombie is going for the final girl before she finally kills him.
I was impressed by the very long take I was seeing, but I couldn’t help but notice all these strange inconsistencies that I was seeing. These odd moments just weren’t gelling with what this complete movie should be to me as I was watching it. And then the credits start to roll after about a half hour into the movie… Out of everything, this made me shout out “What!?” the most. This movie can’t be over now. What the hell is going on here!? And then the twist happened. All the inconsistencies I had been seeing had a purpose, and they were all about to make beautiful, hilarious, and perfect sense.
Once the credits were done rolling and the long take was over, the start of act 2 takes us back to one month ago. This is where we see the assembling of the cast and crew behind the movie within the movie. As it turns out, the very long take we just watched was the live broadcast of a special network presentation for a TV network. They wanted to use a gimmick of having the whole half hour broadcast being done in one very long take, hence the name One Cut of the Dead.
In the next half hour, we get to see the interactions between the cast and crew behind the scenes, their personalities and how they feel about one another. We find out that the young male lead actor was a diva. The director’s daughter has a history of working behind the scenes. One of the zombie actors has a drinking problem, and we see a young PA that always wanted to work the camera. The last big reveal is that two cast members for the broadcast had to be replaced the day of broadcast by the director himself and his spouse with little notice. This whole act sets us up for the biggest payoff in the movie. In the final act of the movie, we get to rewatch the first act of the movie again, but this time, it’s the view behind the scenes that we get to watch and follow as it’s happening.
Everything that was setup until now gets its payoff, and it’s an absolute joy to watch it all unfold. The director from the start of the movie is revealed as the actual director filling in, and he’s using this as an opportunity to completely go off on the actors for being divas during the whole rehearsal process. That’s why he seemed so extreme at the start of the movie. We see the actor with the drinking problem getting totally wasted before the camera starts rolling, and we see it cause all sort of chaos behind the scenes as the actors try adjust to the unexpected complications this creates as they keep going, just like in a live stage play.
This is the reason why the one actor mentions their lack of cell coverage, because he’s just improvising in the moment by pointing out a very obviously trope in horror, since that is the first thing that comes to his mind. The moments where we see the director pop back in and then shout for the cameras to keep rolling is because those are actual mistakes and the director is shouting for the real crew behind the scenes to have the camera keep rolling, and not to the cameraman within the film. The actress finding the axe and pointing it out was because they needed to get an axe to her to fix a mistake, and just like the actor earlier with the cell phone, she couldn’t think of any other way to cover for it then just by pointing out how convenient it was.
We even start to get some payoff from the second act as the young PA gets a chance to pick up and take control of operating the camera during a mistake in all the chaos, and we get to see her do the things she wanted to do and even be praised for it. We get to see the director’s daughter take over assistant directing duties behind the scenes during this time, and we get to see how the crew tries to control the director’s wife while we discover the reason she had to stop acting was because she got too into her roles and went way too far with method acting. She even uses her self-defense techniques that we see her learning and showing off earlier while improvising to fend the crew off as she starts to actually try and attack the other actors. This is the reason why the camera lingers on the one actress for so long, and she later just randomly pops up into frame with an axe in her head. She was regaining consciousness in that moment after the crew had to knock her out while the camera was lingering on the actress for that awkward amount of time.
Our final payoff that we get is when we see the camera crane getting knocked off the roof in all the chaos, and the crew have to solve how to get the final shot that they need. They improvise a plan to use a human pyramid, and then have to buy some time in order to set it up. This is the reason for the last zombie just randomly starting and stopping to go after the final girl from the first part of the movie. They manage to pull off the final shot, and we end the movie with a joyous crew having been able to pull this off, while the director is proud of his daughter for helping complete the final shot while being inspired from a moment from their past together.
I was amazed. I immediately had to restart the movie after it was over so that I could see the whole beginning long shot again after knowing all the extra information about it that I had just discovered. I finally got to understand why all those odd moments in the long take stood out to me, and also why they were supposed to. It made my second viewing of it just as satisfying as the first. This is also why this “zombie” movie isn’t even really a zombie movie. It’s actually one of the cleverest comedies that I have seen in a good long while. The entire premise of One Cut of the Dead reminds me of another great comedy about the behind the scenes making of a show with the cast and crew called Noises Off.
In Noises Off, we get to see the performance of a show in three acts. The first act shows us the contentious final dress rehearsal of the show from the seats of the audience with the director. The second act shows us a live performance of the show from the backstage area as escalating cast and crew drama starts to interfere with the performance of the show. The final act of the show presents us one last performance from the seats of the audience again, and the show is completely falling apart with the cast and crew going crazy behind the scenes. This is one of the funniest comedies that I’ve seen, and any other theatre person such as myself would love it just as much as I do. If you love Noises Off, then you would also love One Cut of the Dead, and vice versa.
I wonder if one day any full-length movie will actually try to all be done in one true single long take, without any clever camera edits. It would require a very solid script and a lot of preproduction work to successfully pull off. The long take lasting 37 minutes in One Cut of the Dead at the start of the movie took 2 days and 6 takes for the cast and crew to get just right. It’s a truly impressive feat on a small budget film of only $25,000, and the cast and crew should be very proud of what they’ve accomplished. What they were able to pull off definitely makes One Cut of the Dead one of my favorite films of the past decade, and well worth a watch and rewatch for anyone.
The Guardian and the Zamaron contact the ten individuals to tell them about the decision they have to make, with mixed results. Meanwhile the Manhunters keep the heroes busy.
This one was an improvement over the first issue. Now we know why the Manhunters know so much about the heroes… but it may be contradicting what the Manhunters are saying. I am not sure in which point in time Harbinger released the History of the DCU, but it seemed like it was happening around Legends. Yet, the Manhunters sent Rudy West to marry Kid Flash’s mother before he was born… We’ll know more after Secret Origins.
Some of the decisions made in this issue are questionable, but it may be that there is more to be revealed soon. The South African guy is a jerk (and I know how it ends for him), so I am not sure why the Guardians would pick him as the next phase in evolution. Makes little sense to even consider it.
As for the Manhunters, they are a real menace now. But you wouldn’t tell by the last issue. This is one of those stories that you have to give the benefit of the doubt until they are finished telling everything they need to tell.
As for the art, my opinions haven’t changed, but at least the ten look different enough from each other.
This is the first appearance of “Extraño”, a very queer gay Peruvian man. At the time it felt like he was too much of a cliché. But in retrospect, you still need queers to make it realistic (as not all gay men look and act the same, just like not all straight men look and act the same).
Um, so it appears that the new Tumblr update has a character limit for text posts? If this is the case, I’m sorry guys but I may have to quit this site. I can’t do reviews like this.
The Clarisonic is such a useful tool to have in your skincare routine. I use this twice a day, at the sink or in the shower. It’s great to use even when taking off a face mask. Use the Bluetooth setting to customize your face washing experience, a gentle wash, or a quick glow boost wash.
I would like to start off this review by saying there is no way in hell that I would ever be able to write a book like this one. The imagination one has to have to create these kinds of worlds is incomparable. However, this book reminded me too much of the book Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. It has a similar plot with almost similar circumstances.
I realize that Aurora Rising is a YA novel but I feel as though it went to far into the realm of YA. To the point where it probably should have been written for a kid in middle school. To be perfectly honest, I really enjoyed the plot and the characters but I did not enjoy the annoying banter in serious moments.
At one point in the book, the main characters are aboard an enemy ship in which they figure they are mere moments from being killed and one of the girls says, “Btw you still have my eyeliner.” Completely unnecessary and juvenile if I do say so myself.
Yet, who am I to say anything about a YA book? I’m a 21 year old woman who is well passed the days where I find these things funny. Out of all YA novels I have read in the past, this one seems like it was meant for a much younger generation.
As I said before, I did enjoy the plot as well as the characters. Overall, it was an extremely easy read and I hope the next book in the series can live up to certain expectations that I have.
i know this is not an anime at all but recently after rewatching it on netflix , i wanted to share my thoughts about it , spoiiler warning,i will talk about certain episodes in detail so ,better watch the show beforehand.
this show tells a story about a girl that just appeared out of nowhere to reveal the ugly truth people (school students and teachers) hide , all we know about this girl is that her name is Nanno,nothing else,no where she came from ,no who her parents are ,just her name.
each episode follows a new person ,it shows how they act infront of others it also shows their goals , Nanno then appears and does many things that range from her telling someone to steal to so they become more popular to running a business where she will make anything happen if they pay the price.
in one of my favourite episodes,wonderwall (it has two parts) nanno joins the school soccer/football team to become a co-manager. Bam who is the co manager is supposed to show nanno what to do ,but is blinded by jealousy after realizing not only 1 or 2 boys from the football team like Nanno for her looks but every boy on the team,including Bam’s crush O.Bam soon is over come with jealousy and to vent she writes horrible things on the bathroom stall wall,soon Bam realises what she wrote came true ,and with this new “power” she tries a lot of new things,turns one of the team boys into a crazy person that acts like a dog ,ect. Bam tells a girl she that was getting bullied about the bathroom stall wall and the things it can do, soon everyone starts writing on the wall about others and it gets out of control,
the people who used to be so nice and calm ,those who no one though would want to harm anyone, turn into horrible people ,writing about wanting others to die , Bam realises her mistake after talking to Nanno and goes to erase everything off the wall(earasing the writing from the wall will remove the ‘curses’) Nanno anounes to everyone soon after that Bam will erace the walls writing and everyone, both teacher and students go after her , Bam gets trapped in the stall with the ‘magical’ wall and notices something, ‘whoever cleans this wall will die’ Bam doesent want to die but with things getting worse by the second she takes out her pen that started everything and writes ‘i wish everyone just disappeared’,Bam is the only person left ,realising there is no one left in school and in town,she travels back home to see if her family is there but to no suprise its empty , Bam goes to the bathroom to see if she has a reflection,the anser is no, Bam cries out in despair ,her voice is gone, there is no one left on earth besides Nanno. the moral of this episode/s is that even the smalles and the least harmful people turn into horrible,greedy evil pigs with just a little power.
i just ‘described’ one of the stories
At the end of the last episode, Nanno recapitulates everything she has experienced throughout the series, and warns everyone to be prepared as she might be the new student at your school.
also im just stating my opinion in this ‘review’ so dont get pissy about it like i just murdered a whole bunch of baby deer ,cause i didnt,i just talked about a show i like.
I never promised consistency on this blog.
There is not a way to review a vendor or item on ThredUp, so I’m doing it here. First. $33 for a secondhand dress, especially one of a lower quality is a lot. Second. This was described as in excellent condition, but there are two holes that need mending and a missing belt. I can fix this, if I keep the dress, but this is extremely annoying for someone trying to save money buying clothes that are replacing clothes with holes in them.
Finally getting back to reading some Marvel Comics, and I thought I’d restart with Weapon X. This was the name of the original program that created Wolverine, but now it’s a team full of these raging killers turned heroes? Well most of them anyways!
‘The Hunt For Weapon H’ has our team of Wolverine, Sabertooth, Domino, Warpath and Lady Deathstrike on the hunt for a new Weapon, created by the same people that experimented on them. The only snag is that this weapon doesn’t just have the claws and ridiculous healing factor, but also has all the powers of the Hulk which make him the most powerful Weapon yet. Despite the already impressive team, Wolverine stops to pick up X-23 as back up as they fight their deadliest enemy yet.
I heave to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the first novel in this series, and this one continued in the same vein. The team dynamic is so natural and hilarious that there are moments you forget that some of these guys are mortal enemies. I did find Weapon H a bit over the top, but there you go, it was going to be done at some point!
The artwork was pretty good, and each of the covers were quite different in style, but again, of a decent quality. Overall, I liked this novel, and I think Weapon X is definitely a series I could see myself recommending to other comic book readers.
This is what I mean. These two have such a history and now they’re on the same team?
It’s so hard to pick, but in this novel, it’s probably Domino or X-23!
In N. K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, the world ends in the first five pages. The frankness of this event sets the tone for the rest of the novel: a fast-paced exploration of a dystopian society built on a continent of cataclysms called the Stillness. The characters take nothing lightly, and they have no room for personal error. The stakes only ever increase, sweeping the reader into the crucial and brutal moments of the characters’ lives. N. K. Jemisin’s Hugo-winning story is an incredible piece of fantastical fiction and a complex rumination on identity and trauma.
The following contains contextual spoilers for the novel, but no major plot spoilers.
I love this book. I read it once before, and I am still blown away by it. It is so well done and unique. It’s a very enjoyable read.
In this book, we follow Citra and Rowan. This book takes place in the future, when humanity is immortal and has complete control over the world and their bodies…well, the Thunderhead has complete control over the world. Scythes are the only thing in the world now that bring permanent death. Rowan is introduced when he decides to stay and show compassion towards a fellow student who is going to be gleaned. Citra is introduced when a scythe comes to her home for a meal. These two are selected by that same scythe to become his apprentices and train to join the scythedom. Their apprenticeship becomes filled with corruption and the stakes for who will take the scythe ring become life or death.
I loved the uniqueness of this book. I read a lot, every single day and a variety of book types at that and I have never been as blown away by the sheer newness of a story as I have this one. It’s very refreshing because it’s so different but it’s also the same, as in it has humans and it’s a world we could possibly achieve. This book constantly makes me stop and think: What if?
*Spoiler in the next paragraph*
I dislike that Volta had to kill children. That part made my stomach curdle. But I do see that it was needed as a final push to get Volta over the edge of what he could handle. And because of that, Rowan was set on a new path.
I love Scythe Curie. She’s so serious and severe, but so compassionate. I love her relationship with Citra. She’s so human, even though she’s a scythe and has lived for a long time.
*Spoiler in the next paragraph*
I dislike the High Blade of MidMerica. He’s easily corruptible and also doesn’t seem to follow the 10 commandments well…you know, having a daughter and all. He’s just scummy.
More books: The Thunderhead (which I’ve already reviewed somewhere in the depths of this blog) and The Toll.
I am currently reading The City of Heavenly Fire. What’s everyone else reading right now?
Thanks for reading!