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ClareR (3188 KP) rated Spinning Silver in Books

Aug 13, 2018  
Spinning Silver
Spinning Silver
Naomi Novik | 2018 | Fiction & Poetry
10
9.3 (4 Ratings)
Book Rating
Take my money now!!!
Advertised as a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, this takes quite some imagination to get the reader to that particular fairy tale. I’m assuming that the Staryk King is along the lines of the Rumpelstiltskin character, except he isn’t some wizened dwarf. In fact, more than one of the characters carries some of Rumpelstiltskin’s traits.
Miryem, the Jewish Moneylenders daughter (who is actually far better at it than her father), has a reputation for turning silver in to gold, and this reaches the ears of the Staryk King, who demands that she change his silver in to gold. Which she does three times; the consequences of which aren’t quite what she expects.
Novik writes good female characters, without any doubt. Miryem, whotakes over her father’s moneylending business and saves her family; Irena, the daughter of a Duke, who marries the demon possessed Tsar; and Wanda, the daughter of a destitute, drunk farmer, who by luck comes to pay off her father’s debts by working for Miryem.
These women’s lives converge to create a bewitching story of real human concerns: poverty, helplessness, strength found when needed, and how important it is to pay your debts!
I do hope Novik writes more books like this. I’ll buy them!!
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a chance to read and review this wonderful book.
  
Insidious : The Last Key (2018)
Insidious : The Last Key (2018)
2018 | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Dr. Elise Rainier was blessed with the ability to communicate with the dead, a gift that, at times, seemed more like a curse. In Insidious: The Last Key we see how the this gift was not always welcome for her growing up in New Mexico as it leads to the destruction of her family.

Years later, she is forced to return and face down the demons that scarred her and led to a complete estrangement from her family.
The film is very ambitious in hoping that audiences who are loyal to the franchise will return to the next installment. Unfortunately, fans will be sorely disappointed as this film seems to be nothing more than a fan-fiction version. The dialogue is pedestrian, at best. The storyline is shallow, predictable, and confusing.

There are elements of the story that seem out of place. Even the demon that appears onscreen us underwhelming. There is very little (other than a few moments that may have a few people in the audience jump) purpose to the film. It seems rushed. The film deserved to be nothing more than a backstory that could have been offered as part of Elise as part of conversation in a better-developed film.

Insidious: The Last Key is decent for those wishing to introduce themselves the Insidious franchise, but does little to offer any substantial foothold into the horror genre.
  
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Sarah (7507 KP) created a post

Oct 24, 2019  
Last night I went to watch The Exorcist at the Opera House in Manchester. I've never been a huge fan of The Exorcist film, I think it's a tad overrated but I was intrigued to see how they'd bring a story like this to life on the stage. And they've put together a well produced and atmospheric show. The set design is brilliant and the effects are spot on, producing a chilly and at times scary show, which isn't something you'd usually expect in such a big theatre and a large audience. The show is that well produced that it's a shame it's rather let down by the acting. A lot of the acting seemed very over the top and exaggerated, and some was just plain poor. Which is a shame as there was a standout performance from Tristram Wymark as Burke who was downright hilarious and a welcome relief to the scarier aspects of the show. Also having Ian McKellen voice the demon is a work of genius. Hearing such a seasoned actor voice a horrible character is brilliant and the young girl miming him is impressively good, even if she does seem to overact at times.

Overall definitely worth seeing for the production if nothing else, and I would've marked a little higher had it not been for some of the acting! 7.5/10
     
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Andy K (10639 KP) Oct 24, 2019

Sounds so great Sarah! Wish I could see it like that!

The Gate II: Trespassers (1992)
The Gate II: Trespassers (1992)
1992 | Comedy, Horror, Mystery
Was hoping for better
I was a huge fan of the original The Gate when I was a kid and rewatched recently and still enjoyed. I am not sure I even knew they made a sequel until recently which makes sense now that I have seen it.

Glenn's friend Terry returns with two other annoying teen jerks and a pretty girl to summon another small demon into our dimension from theirs. It is all fun and games at first when they realize they can get their wishes granted like getting a vintage Corvette or lots of cash, but the fun soon fades when their gifts turn into shit. I mean literal shit (kind of weird). Things get scary then when two of the teens start transforming into weird creatures and Terry and girl "friend" have to band together to save humanity.

I don't mind dated movies since I am now dated myself, but this one just didn't work. Filmmakers of the original were surprised when it was a moderate hit, so they slapped this script together just to get something out there and it shows. The characters are one dimensional and not very funny or interesting and the plot doesn't really go anywhere.

The final 20 minutes kind of saves the film a little with some cool creature effects, but by then it is too late.

  
Siege and Sacrifice
Siege and Sacrifice
Charlie N. Holmberg | 2019 | Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult (YA)
7
7.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
A good conclusion
Contains spoilers, click to show
The final part of this trilogy starts with what should be an almighty conflict. The (somewhat damp squib of a) second book in the series ended with the much-feared monster being summoned into the body of the presumed-dead Anon, Sandis' brother. Sadly, this opening scene is short-lived as the heroes scarper and live to fight another day (though admittedly it was always going to be that way!).
That opening anti-climax out of the way, this book is a more intelligent and thoughtful one that the previous two. Finally we have some answers and insight into the world we are in, and where the ancient mystical race went, as well as where the summoned demons come from. While I didn't feel this was missing from the first two books, it is good to have some answers and extra world-building to get stuck into.
The first third of the book rattles along quite well, the humans trying to track down the host of the demon and hence stop its daily attacks. The middle third was a bit of a slog, with much less happening, quite heavy on the exposition and endless narrative descriptions. The final was much more pacey, though I was starting to tire of the book by then and skimmed some chapters.
All in all a good conclusion to an enjoyable series.
  
MR
Midnight Romance (Itayu Lake, #5)
8
8.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
Midnight Romance is the fifth book in the Itayu Lake series, and we reunite with Ignacio, the demon who has helped previous mated pairs. This time, it's his turn. His mate is a vampire, and he literally falls out of the sky into Ignacio's arms. Whilst Ignacio could have completed the claiming rite that very night, he waits - mainly because Adriano is delirious, and Ignacio refuses to claim his mate unaware.

Not only do these two have the new bond to complete, but they also have Adriano's old lover, Lyle to contend with. Also, the Hunters are back, determined to find out more about the preternaturals that live peacefully on Itayu Lake. We meet two possible (new) pairs that I hope to hear about very soon - Lyle and Kai, and Shaw and Zhuang. The issue with the Hunters still isn't over, so I look forward to reading more in this series.

Very well written, with no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt the reading flow, I have no hesitation in recommending this book, although I would also recommend that you start at the beginning, just to get the full impact!

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!