Monthly Archives: March 2011

Still a chance for the long-awaited Midnight Sun

When Stephanie Meyer does an interview, what does she always get asked?  Yep, if/when she’ll be getting around to finishing the infamous Midnight Sun.  This incomplete manuscript, a telling of the events of the original Twilight novel from Edward’s perspective, was leaked a few years ago after very limited copies of it were entrusted to some key cast members in order to help them develop their characters.  Speculation is that Rob had one of the copies and might be the guilty party, but although Stephanie knows where the leak came from, she’s not telling.  And good for her!  I’d much rather see fans obsess over the manuscript itself than the who/when/why of it (which could lead to bad press for the franchise), and realistically it could have been any number of people.  Unfortunately for fans, Stephanie was so burned by the betrayal that she staunchly refused to finish it for at least a year after the incident, then when she finished Breaking Dawn, decided to move on to other projects.  Note to Ms. Meyer:  The Host ≠ Midnight Sun, not even close!!

Now, with Breaking Dawn nearing the end of filming, Stephanie recently told USA Today that she’s “hoping to do it someday because I know that’s what people want. No matter what book I put out from here to eternity they’ll want ‘Midnight Sun,” and that is the cold twi-hard truth!   Stephanie also chatted about how fantastic Kristen Stewart looks in Bella’s vintage wedding dress, Kristen’s transformation as a vampire for the second half of the final film, and Rob’s affinity to his on-screen-nemesis character Jacob.  She also revealed that the first half of the Breaking Dawn film will end as Bella opens her eyes for the first time as a vampire.   To borrow from True Blood, waiting sucks!

We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see the full USA Today report, but you can check out MTVs recent article here.

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Kristen Stewart confirmed as the new Snow White but Viggo Mortensen will not fill the Huntsman role

Earlier this month, Twilight’s Kristen Stewart was confirmed to be playing the role of Snow White in the upcoming film adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale.  Charlize Theron and Viggo Mortensen were also in talks for the role of the evil Queen and the Huntsman, however recent news has confirmed that Mortensen, well known for (but certainly not solely for!) his portrayal of Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, will not be pursuing the Huntsman role and is rumored to be in consideration for the role of the villain in the new Superman movie.

Sad news for Twilight fans, as I’m sure there wouldn’t have been too many objections to seeing our Bella opposite the hunky Aragorn.  Hopefully the new actor cast as the Huntsman will be as good a match.


Review: Dead Witch Walking (Rachel Morgan/The Hollows series novel #1), by Kim Harrison

TLDR recap:

Rachel Morgan is a dead witch walking, seeing as how her old boss has put a price on her head to cover the losses he took when she ended her contract early.  Witches, warlocks, fairies, and demons all make a go at her as she tries to prove the guilt of Councilman Trent Kalamack, a well-respected businessman and suspected drug lord.  Luckily for Rachel, she has a few faithful sidekicks- a “living” vampire, a spirited pixy, and a nebulously artless human- to keep her out of trouble.

  • Title: Dead Witch Walking
  • Series: Rachel Morgan – book #1
  • Author: Kim Harrison
  • Prominent Characters: Rachel, Ivy, Jenks, Nick
  • Recommended reader age: 14+
  • Sexual content level: Virtually none to very low

Premise:

After half the world’s human population is killed by an accidental rogue bio-virus, magic users (called Inderlanders) make their secret existence known to human society and jump in to fill the void.  Speeding ahead 50 years, with human vs. Inderlander segregation still prevalent, we meet our plucky heroine and her pixy and vampire sidekicks.  Rachel has a price on her head and spends most of her time avoiding assassination attempts while trying to gather enough evidence on a suspected black-market drug lord to buy off her contract.

Thoughts:

This book had the unfortunate disadvantage of having to follow Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood book #8) in my reading list, which is only the second novel to date that I have given a full 5-Fang rating to.  Needless to say it was a hell of a book and a very hard act to follow, so even though I tried to remain unbiased, there’s a possibility this book got the same treatment as Nancy Kerrigan when Oksana Baiul skated a near perfect and crowd-pleasing routine before the U. S. Skater’s set in the ’94 Olympics.  For those of you who just went “huh?!” and scratched your head, basically it’s really hard to follow a gold-medal performance… or book… and be judged impartially.

That said, this book did start out strong, and I had visions of a new potential Cat & Bones (Night Huntress series) to obsess myself with.  The first chapter immediately immerses the reader in The Hollows, the magical (primarily non-human) side of the tracks, and Rachel shows she has a campy sense of humor.  However, the initial momentum didn’t last through even the first chapter, when the story starts to become bogged down in a few too many unfamiliar terms and references.  Now normally, I’d say that practice (of tossing the reader in head-first and using references and implications to describe the story’s culture) is an effective and enjoyable tool for an author to use, but in this book it just fell flat and left me somewhat confused (and with a meandering attention span).  It does get a little better, but not fast enough for me to really latch on to either the characters or the “universe”.

The “universe” concept for this book/series is an interesting (and fairly original) concept.  Something like half of the world’s human population was wiped out nearly overnight by a mutated bio-virus that managed to hide itself inside a bio-engineered tomato.  This leads to some of the more campy humor of the book, with humans (including Nick) having a serious aversion to tomatoes and using tomato-inspired references as swear words.

The characters:

The Vampire: Ivy is a “living vamp”, who can walk in daylight and choose not to consume human blood, while still retaining some of the speed and strength of the soulless “dead vamps” who must consume human blood to continue existing.  Ivy is a frustrating quandary.  I think the author’s intent was to make her mysterious and brooding with implied secrets about her abilities.  To me, however, she just comes across as moody and annoying.

The Human: Nick is a seemingly harmless human with a murky background, lax morals, a sweet disposition, and no as-yet-known special abilities.  He has an uncanny knack for making things happen and finding solutions quickly and efficiently, and it seems as though he is being set up as Rachel’s love interest, although nothing really seems to come of that.  While it is somewhat alluring to be teased with hints about Nick’s potential for some kind of hidden power, there is just not enough substance to him to make me care what happens next.  His chemistry with Rachel is hazy at best, making it difficult to root for them as a couple.

The Pixy:  Jenks is a witty, fierce, clever, & efficient little winged warrior, who doubles as Rachel’s spy and bodyguard.  This little fireball of a pixy is by far my favorite character in the book, which is a little disturbing considering he’s not the main character and the story is not told in his voice.  The book isn’t called “Dead Pixy Flitting”, although that might have actually been a more amusing story to tell.  His humor, competence, situational awareness, fighting prowess, and larger-than-Tink personality really make him shine.  Without Jenks, I probably wouldn’t have rated this book as high as I did (which isn’t saying much).

The Witch: Rachel Morgan is the main character and narrator for the story.  She’s a witch, but she almost exclusively uses charms to cast her magic, which seems a pretty cumbersome way of going about things since they have to be pre-enchanted then carried around and physically activated with a time delay.  While I think Rachel has some potential to grow into a strong and likable heroine, in this book she tends to hover somewhere between being a careless liability and a spunky rogue with a one-track brain.

Memorable quotes:

About Inderlanders & the Hollows…

The Hollows have become a bastion of Inderland life, comfortable and casual on the surface, with its potential problems carefully hidden.  Most humans are surprised at how normal the Hollows appear, which, when you stop to think about it, makes sense.  Our history is that of humanity’s.  We didn’t just drop out of the sky in ’66; we emigrated in through Ellis Island.  We fought in the Civil War, World War One, and World War Two – some of us in all three.  We suffered in the Depression, and we waited like everyone else to find out who shot JR.

On pint-sized sidekicks…

I’d found Jenks to be a pretentious snot with a bad attitude and a temper to match.  But he knew what side of the garden his nectar came from.  And apparently pixies were the best they’d let me take out since the frog incident.  I would have sworn fairies were too big to fit into a frog’s mouth.

See, chocolate IS medicinal!

It was nerves that made me stop at the sweet shop.  Everyone knows chocolate soothes the jitters; I think they did a study on it.  And for five glorious minutes, Jenks stopped talking while he ate the caramel I bought him.

If you like…

If you like Dead Witch Walking and other books in the Rachel Morgan series, you may like the Cassie Palmer series by Karen Chance.  It has a similar competent-yet-disaster-prone female lead and is told from the same first-person viewpoint.  They also both feature vampires, wizards, fairies, demons, and humans.  In my opinion, the Cassie Palmer series has more momentum & wit, and a clever, more complex plot.  I also enjoy the interactions between the main and secondary characters much more, and the pace of the story is much, much faster.   You may also like the Night Huntress (Cat & Bones) series by Jeaniene Frost, which is told with the same first-person-spunky-heroine style, but focuses almost exclusively on vampires and ghouls.

Final thoughts:

I really wanted to like this book a lot.  I need a new series to keep me occupied between the Night Huntress, Black Dagger Brotherhood, Anita Blake/Meredeth Gentry, Cassie Palmer, Guild Hunter, and Sookie Stackhouse novel releases.  That might sound like a lot of series to keep track of, but when they average 1-2 book releases a year per series (some even less) and I read 1-2 books a week, that leaves me with a lot of free reading time and there’s only so many times I can re-read these series before I have them committed to memory!  *grin*

I was hoping Dead Witch Walking would draw me in enough to want to read the second one, but I just wasn’t invested enough in it at the end of the story.  The ending sequence of events is so predictable it’s almost depressing to read it play out when you know what’s coming.  I know a lot of people like this series and this book.  Maybe it gets better as it goes along.  Maybe I’ll come back to it later.  Obviously everyone has different tastes, so if you disagree with many of my review ratings, then you will probably enjoy this book!

Rating:
3.75 fangs: BITE IT, but beware splinters…

Related links:

http://www.kimharrison.net/

http://www.karenchance.com/books.html

http://jeanienefrost.com/books/

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Black Dagger Brotherhood merchandise & 5 Days of Payne countdown

Lover Unleashed, Payne’s book (#9 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series), releases this coming Tuesday, March 29th.  Starting yesterday, Ms. Ward is posting a video teaser each day on her Facebook page, giving us little snippets about Payne and the book.  I haven’t been able to link them here, so to see the videos (which are about 15 seconds each, or less), search Facebook for “J. R. Ward” and click her name in the search results (her current Profile Pic is the cover of Lover Unleashed, so it’s hard to miss!). 

Ms. Ward also has a line of Black Dagger Brotherhood merchandise available at her CafePress site, located here

100% of the profits from the sale of BDB merchandise go to support animal charities.  Want to see a preview of what’s in the store?  Look below! 

If you haven’t yet read through the end of Lover Enshrined (#6) beware the spoiler at the very bottom of this post.  =)

 

OK, here’s the spoiler! 

If you have NOT READ LOVER ENSHRINED (BDB #6) and do NOT WANT TO SEE A SPOILER, ignore this next image!! 

You’ve been warned.  =D


Twilight Eclipse snags 11 MTV Movie Award nominations, including 2 for Best Kiss

Team Edward beware – Team Jacob has a shot at the Best Kiss award this year too and the competition will be fierce!  This is the first time in MTV Movie Award history that one person (Kristen Stewart) has garnered two nominations for a single category from the same film.  Happily, that means double the smooch time during the award clips for Twilight fans.  😉

Below is the nominee list for the Best Kiss.  I wanted to list ALL the categories Eclipse is nominated for but there are just WAY too many nominees!  MTV is apparently more lenient with their nominee list than the Oscars…

Who do you think should win?  GO VOTE at MTV.com!

Best Kiss

Amanda Crew & Zac Efron – ‘Charlie St. Cloud’

Amanda Seyfried & Shiloh Fernandez – ‘Red Riding Hood

Amy Adams & Mark Wahlberg – ‘The Fighter’

Angelina Jolie & Johnny Depp – ‘The Tourist’

Anne Hathaway & Jake Gyllenhaal – ‘Love and Other Drugs’

Drew Barrymore & Justin Long – ‘Going the Distance’

Ellen Page & Joseph Gordon-Levitt – ‘Inception’

Emily Blunt & Matt Damon – ‘The Adjustment Bureau’

Emma Stone & Penn Badgley – ‘Easy A’

Emma Watson & Daniel Radcliffe – ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1’

Jennifer Aniston & Adam Sandler – ‘Just Go with It

Jim Carrey & Ewan McGregor – ‘I Love You Phillip Morris’

Jonah Hill & Russell Brand – ‘Get Him to the Greek’

Katherine Heigl & Josh Duhamel – ‘Life as We Know It’

Kristen Stewart & Robert Pattinson – ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’

Kristen Stewart & Taylor Lautner – ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’

Lyndsy Fonseca & Aaron Johnson – ‘Kick-Ass’

Minka Kelly & Cam Gigandet – ‘The Roommate’

Natalie Portman & Ashton Kutcher – ‘No Strings Attached’

Natalie Portman & Mila Kunis – ‘Black Swan’

 

Notice Emma Watson & Dan Radcliffe are in there – that was a surprise for me until I remembered the scene with the horcrux amulet, and then I remembered how steamy it was!  I don’t think it can contend with Eclipse, but I’m glad to see it nominated.  We also have a few guy-on-guy and girl-on-girl smooches in the list, like Natalie+Mila from ‘Black Swan’ and Jim Carrey & Ewan McGregor from ‘I Love You Phillip Morris’.  I also really enjoyed the chemistry between Natalie Portman & Ashton Kutcher in ‘No Strings Attached’, but again I don’t think it can pull off the award.  Personally I think the biggest risk of an Eclipse upset is Black Swan, but with Team Edward and Team Jacob coming out in droves to vote, I’ll be surprised if one of the Eclipse kisses doesn’t win.

Looks like we might get our favorite Twi-hard question answered after all (no, not the “are they”/”aren’t they” rumors, although that’s a close second!): Team Edward or Team Jacob?  Well, the fans are about to speak!  Will Edward take the MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss honor for the third year in a row or will Jacob finally get his chance to take the spotlight & get the girl?  (pssst: my money’s on Edward!  That proposal scene was AWESOMESAUCE!!)  But no worries Taylor, if you lose to Rob again you still have a chance to take him in the ‘Best Male Performance’ category.  May the best *cough*vampire*cough* win!

The MTV Movie Awards will be shown live on Sunday, June 5th and 9/8c in case you want to go ahead and put that on your calendar now…  *grin*


Cat & Bones One Grave at a Time Cover Art Released!

For all you Cat & Bones fans fiending for your next OGaaT (One Grave at a Time – Night Huntress book #6) tease, Ms. Frost has given us a sneak peek at the cover and stepback art for the upcoming novel.  The model for Cat has changed, as she’s no longer posing for book covers, but on the bright side, Cat finally gets to let her hair down!  Check ’em out below…

(That’s her cat Helsing above, which is appropriate since the book releases close to Halloween this year.  Check out Bones below… I miss his shock-bleached hair! 😉 )

Enjoy!


Get a personalized autographed copy of the new Black Dagger Brotherhood novel, Lover Unleashed!

If you, like the rest of Ms. Wards legions of impatiently loyal fans, are fiending for the next chapter in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, rejoice, because it’s only a week away!  Then rejoice some more because you can get a personalized, autographed hardback copy of the book signed by J. R. Ward herself!

Now personally, I read everything in ebook format, but this is very tempting even for me.  To order your personalized autographed copy, go here and carefully read all the instructions before making your purchase.  The cost is the list price of $27.95 + (possibly) shipping.  If you order online at Barnes & Noble, you can get the hardback for $15.35 but you don’t get the autograph or personalization.  This offer ends at the close of the business day this Thursday, March 24th… so if you want it, jump on it!

No matter which way you choose though, you’ll still come out ahead because the wait is almost over!!


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