Film: Warm Bodies – “I can’t remember my name, or my parents, or my job… although my hoodie would suggest I was unemployed.”

I taped ‘Warm Bodies’ when it was on Film4, I was mildly interested in it but I didn’t expect it to be that good.

So I turned it on when the Husband popped to B&Q for more supplies for his latest project, I thought it would kill half an hour or so  but I was still watching it and laughing when the Husband got back nearly an hour later – and then he started watching it!

warm bodies

Pllotwise, most of the world’s population is now undead, feed on the living when they can find them. The Living hide behind a walled off section of the city and occasionally send out groups of teens to look for food and supplies.

R is a zombie, but he is different, he can think and observe what is happening to himself and others. Initially the first chunk of the film is narrated by his thoughts, as the film progresses he starts slowly remembering how to talk out loud and talks to Julie – the human he inexplicably rescues from being eaten.

warm bodies still

It was a funny film with nice dialogue – often  R talking to himself which makes it funnier as it is such a contrast to his shambling zombie state.

It is also fundamentally romance – although happily there is no necrophilia 🙂

There is actually no gore or anything icky at all, which feels somewhat odd in a film about zombies!

I’m not sure if it would stand up to rewatching but it was surprisingly fun the first time!

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Book: Ariana Hawkes’ ‘Isabel and The Wolf’ – The author would like you to breath heavily

This was part one of a series of four short serials which feature werewolves and erotic romance… well not so much romance as erotica and dominance play. The book is certainly aimed at over 18s!

Isabel move from Chicago to somewhere in New Mexico, she decides it would be a wonderful idea to look on the internet for men to dominate her.

When stood up on the first date with a man (Peter) she then agrees to meet him at his home – which is just straight serial killer territory.

Amazingly she doesn’t end up dead, which is exceedingly unlikely in real life.

Despite smut not being my preferred genre and this story being free it isn’t actually *that* badly written – although I did skim over most of the bits involving that-sort-of-thing – not that Peter gets anything out of his pants in this instalment.

I have zero intent of reading the other three instalments to see if Peter manages to actually cope with penetration.

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Book: H P Mallory’s ‘Fire burn and cauldron bubble’ – “When a business partner’s friend sticks her ass in your face, discussing the weather is the best line of recourse.”

‘Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble’ is book 1 in the Jolie Wilkins Series and is apparently a paranormal romance novel – although the cover art makes me think it is more likely to be chick lit with a couple of magic spells thrown in. But I’m still feeling under the weather so something easy to read might be a nice distraction for a couple of hours – oh yes and it was free.

I haven’t read much chick lit but the main character in this book seems ridiculously dumb and in need of more rescuing than most. Jolie is so dumb that she doesn’t know how long a fortnight is, that is insanely stupid and I’m not sure what the book telling the reader that was meant to inspire – distain, pity, homicidal wishes?

Her best friend Christia is a flat out slut and not really a good friend at all – by page 21 I am already expecting her to be behind a pretty horrendous betrayal before the book is done.

Fire Burn And Cauldron Bubble

By page 30 I want to stop reading, it doesn’t make any sense – a random warlock (with a British accent) walks into some shop in Nowhereville in America in the present day and convinces the tarot card reading owner to come with him to Chicago to find out who killed a person in the 1920s. She gets all hot and bothered by him, but goes anyway, takes her slutty friend and tries to ignore her attraction to the warlock.

There have been little attempt at characterisation or scene setting, everyone is annoying and shallow, the writing is basic and has no depth or descriptions.  I can’t see there being any payoff if I continue to read but I can’t work out where this drivel is going.

Slogged through to page 60, ok stupid Jolie has managed to go to a fancy dress party and sign her life away to being a glorified supernatural slave and will have to give up her old life – instead going to live in England with the warlock. What a weird concept for a plot, they would have been better off not involving vampires and supernatural unions as the author isn’t capable of writing romantic drivel between a stupid little girl and a warlock, much less anything deeper or more complicated.

I skipped from page 62 to about the last ten pages of the book and just about managed to slog through those. The writing gets worse, I’m not even going to comment on the awful writing dialogue in accents attempt, Jolie needs shooting and ending the book on (spoiler?) fairies joining the fight against the mean female witch who invited Jolie to the fancy dress party back on page 60 ish.

Book deleted with joy in my heart.

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Book: Anthology ‘Hexed’ – “Well, in that case, your magic isn’t working. I’m still an a$$hole”

I bought this anthology because of the Ilona Andrews story ‘Magic Dreams’. However I felt that really should read the other stories in the book – unlike the other two anthologies that I bought simply because they have an Ilona Andrews story in.

Well I did actually try to read the other stories in ‘Must Love Hellhounds’ but the Charlaine Harris story which had the chap with two *you know whats* rather threw me so I stopped abruptly!

hexed

Back onto ‘Hexed’, I liked the Ilona Andrews story – but that was a given.

Yasmine Galenorn isn’t an author I’ve read before, her story ‘Ice Shards’ was ok but there were a lot of characters, references and backstory from her series so that made it a little odd to read. It was a cute enough story and had potential but the two instances of strong swearing felt out of place in the story and jarred me out of it at rather pivotal points.

Allyson James’ ‘Double Hexed’ was an interesting premise but it reminded me VERY VERY much of Tanya Huff’s ‘Summon The Keeper’ but with a magic mirror instead of a cat.

I do still need to read Jeanne C. Stein’s ‘Blood Debtand I have good intentions but a total lack of timescales.

 

For those who are interested, the chronological order of the Kate Daniels series – including short stories, is:

  • A Questionable Client – a short story included in the special edition of ‘Magic Bites’
  • Magic Bites
  • Magic Burns
  • Magic Strikes
  • Magic Mourns – Raphael and Andrea novella in anthology ‘Must Love Hellhounds’
  • Magic Bleeds
  • Magic Dreams – Jim and Dali novella in anthology ‘Hexed’
  • Magic Slays
  • Gunmetal Magic (Andrea’s book) – which also includes the short story Magic Gifts
  • Magic Rises
  • Magic Breaks – which also includes the short story ‘Magic Tests’
  • Magic Steals – Jim and Dali novella in anthology ‘Night Shift’
  • Magic Shifts – this isn’t out until July and I am very excited already.

There is also a Kate’s world story in the anthology ‘Hex Appeal’ but the name of the book puts me off so I don’t have that one… yet?

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Book: Cassandra Clare’s ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ – ” She looks like someone whose phone number should be on a bathroom wall.”

I haven’t read any of the six Mortal Instrument books but I have now seen the film of the first one.

If it wasn’t for the massive eyebrows and REALLY bad music it might have been an ok film, the effects were rather good at the very least.

However the snogging in the rain in the greenhouse scene made me reach for the remote.

the mortal instrumentsAnd gosh Simon is SO painfully two-dimensional in this film, judging by the book spoilers that doesn’t change for a couple of books.

clary and her enourmous eyebrows

There are some nice touches that seem to come from the books, for example the idea that Bach’s music can expose demons is rather fun, but the film feels clunky and slightly lost. And I spent far too much time wondering if her eyebrows are so HUGE in the book.

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Books: Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series – “Should I—What? Be flattered that while you don’t like me, you’re willing to sacrifice just to get into my pants?”

There are currently ten published books in Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series – that is excluding three novellas/short stories, there will probably be thirteen books in all.

The books as urban fantasy which is heavy on the vampires but has a few shifters, fae and nymphs too. The main protagonist is a permanently 27 year old female who goes by her surname of Merit, she is a recently converted vampire and things are complicated…

some girls bite

I like the idea of the series, I love Merit’s best friend Mallory, I like the random food obsession that run through the books and I am probably interested in where the series ends.

The ninth book, ‘Wild Things’, gave me cause to pause as I didn’t feel it added that much to the overall series. However upon rereading the series this week it didn’t feel as jarring as I remembered it.

That said I still haven’t read the newest book, ‘Blood Games’ and will probably hold off until the series is done just in case Merit continues to turn into a Mary Sue and the rest of female cast continue dwindling into obscurity.

Despite my reservations about where the series may end up, I would strongly suggest starting the series if you don’t know it –  Chloe Neill’s website lists the book order (including novellas) as being

1. Some Girls Bite
2. Friday Night Bites
3. Twice Bitten
4. Hard Bitten
5. Drink Deep
6. Biting Cold
7. House Rules
8. Biting Bad
8.A. High Stakes (Luc & Lindsey Short Story in ‘Kicking It Anthology’)
8.B. Howling For You (Jeff & Fallon Novella)
9. Wild Things
10. Blood Games
10.A. Lucky Break (Ethan & Merit Novella)
11. Dark Debt (March 3, 2015)

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