Tag Archives: entertainment

Oz The Great and Powerful…Not so Much…

12 Mar

Hello everypony!

Thanks to the string of poor weather up this way, and various other obstacles I hadn’t been posting much because–well, frankly, I was being boring. Trapped inside due to inclement weather, work, and general laziness–I dove into video games instead of my usual novels or films.

Well–I hope you’re super, extra, excited tonight to know that I managed to drag myself out long enough to see Disney’s latest film, Oz The Great and Powerful, last night.

I went into this film with high hopes. It was hard not to–with the super-star line up that included, Mila Kunis, James Franco, and Scrubs Zack Braff. Surely, this was a combination for success? Not to mention that this movie was a prequel to my childhood favorite, The Wizard of Oz.  I had been very much looking forward to what I hoped would be a charming, witty and powerful prequel. But I was about to be mildly disappointed.

The film starts in black and white, an appreciated tip of the hat to the original Wizard of Oz, (which had also been the first movie ever in color!) and the audience is introduced right away to the main character: a con-artist Houdini wannabe called Oz (James Franco). It’s made obvious that Oz is a liar as well as a player who tricks beautiful young woman with his quick hand and silver tongue. Ultimately, that is the most exciting this character gets. The first twenty minutes or so are spent reflecting how much of a jerk Oz really is. His magic is fake, he’s mean to his only friend (Zack Braff) who he claims isn’t a friend at all–but a trained monkey and he’s been messing with the hearts of every woman he seems to meet. His playboy mannerisms get Oz into trouble with the carnival’s strongman, who attempts to chase down and crush the weaselly, Oz. Oz manages to escape in a hot air balloon–but soon regrets this decision as he is sucked into a spiraling tornado.

After managing to survive his encounter with mother nature, Oz crash-lands in–well…OZ. This is also where the movie becomes vibrantly colored. (So much so that it made me cross-eyed. A word of warning–I don’t recommend this in 3D or in IMAX.) After what felt like an overly-drawn-out panning scene that takes in the multi-colored nature around him, Oz meets his very first witch, Theodora (Mila Kunis). She claims she saw him fall from the sky, and starts babbling about a prophesy, convinced that the con-man, Oz is meant to save their world as a great and powerful wizard. Taken with Theodora’s beauty, Oz goes along with her assumption, wooing the unsuspecting witch as she leads him to the Emerald City. On the way to the city, Oz saves the life of an animated winged monkey in a bell-hop suit called Finley (Zack Braff’s voice) who vows to serve Oz as thanks.  Finley soon regrets this vow as Oz reveals that he is not the prophesized king, wizard and savior of their land–but is in fact just a con-man and Oz swears him to secrecy.

Once at the Emerald City, the audience is introduced to Theodora’s sister, Evenora(Rachel Weisz) who immediately reveals herself as the villain. (But not the main one. Spoilers!) Wanting to keep the throne for herself, Evenora sends Oz off on a journey to prove himself and kill the “wicked witch”. Overwhelmed by greed, Oz agrees and sets off without a word to Theodora. Later, Evenora leads her sister to believe that Oz had woo’d her as well, making Theodora hate him.

While on this journey, Oz comes across a village that had once been made of giant porcelain tea-pots. (Yeah, it felt really random and pointless to me too.)  Hearing someone crying, Oz and Finley discover a little china girl with busted legs. Oz helps her and somehow she manages to stick around for the rest of the film. (haha) The three head onward to face who they believe to be the wicked witch. Of course, this is not the case, and they end up meeting a young, Glinda the good witch.

Glinda makes the group realize who the real villains are, just in time for the group to be chased by angry flying baboons who have multiple annoying 3D jump-scares for you to enjoy. (or not.) Glinda helps them escape with her magic bubble, and takes then to munchkinland where she convinces Oz to lead her “army” against the true wicked witch.

At heart this is the whole plot of the film (leaving out the ending of course.) and I was honestly disappointed. The 3D graphics are beautiful but overwhelming, and occasionally overdone. The plot is overly predictable. And the most believeable characters in the whole film were the two animated ones: Finley and the little China Girl.

As my boyfriend pointed out, Sam Raimi is a hit or miss director. This style worked for Alice in Wonderland–but not so much for Oz as it felt too familiar and over-the-top. I would have liked to see more diversity in the “Quadling” people possibly along the same lines as Wicked where they’re frog-people. The plot was tolerable, but didn’t contain many surprises that I felt were good additions to the film. All in all, I could have saved myself the money and waited for this one to come out on DVD.

I give this a two out of five cupcake score. Not so great or powerful.

 

May contain Goodness

Oz–the not so great or powerful

 

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Les Miserables will make you miserable! (But in a feel-good kind of way)

15 Jan

I wasn’t exactly sure of the plot of Les Miserables, but I understood what the title meant: “The Miserables.” So, one thing was certain; I wasn’t signing myself up for a family comedy.

Even so, I was convinced that I had to see it. After all, it’s a musical, and I haven’t yet met a musical that I haven’t liked.And I had always wanted to see the play. So, as the lights dimmed and the music drummed up, along with a surge of sea-sounds and booming baritone voices, I felt a thrilled chill dance along my vertebrae.That chill was only the start of what felt like an enveloping experience at the movie theaters.

If one has never seen Les Miserables, it is a mildly difficult thing to try to explain in mere words the emotional force that the music seems to contain. (But I will do what I can!) Les Miserables is a musical emotional force. It starts and ends with a heavy orchestral hand that leaves you slightly a-gape. Les Miserables is more like an opera than a musical, as there is little to no spoken dialogue and nearly all of the major plot is in song, which could have been a huge drawback if the singing wasn’t generally well done. (With an exception of Russell Crowe, who plays the chaotic good cop, Javert, who comes to an end that I believe should come to all poor singers.)

Each scene is loaded with a raw humanity: a prisoner who has hardened his heart, a priest who opens it again, a mother who does anything she can to support her child alone, a child abandoned and found again, a man rebuilt, learning to love, be loved and let go, a young man finding his place in the world and learning loss. Saying that this movie is heavy, hardly covers the plunge into problems that Les Miserables rockets its audience through. This film is not for the faint of heart. (I recommend stocking up on extra napkins at the concession stand if you don’t have tissues on hand.)

Les Miseables opens with the main character, Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), working as a slave in a shipyard. The prisoners are waist deep in seawater as they struggle to bring a wounded ship to port. Manacled at the neck and hands, they sing a powerful baritone rendition of, “Look down”. Here the audience is also introduced to the main villain, Jevert (Russell Crowe) who seems to particularly loves to break Valjean. Valjean, having filled his prison sentence, is handed his papers to be free, but they mark his as a “dangerous man”. Once free of the prison, Valjean is still treated like a criminal and finds himself unable to find a job or shelter. Instead, he finds himself sleeping on a doorstep. Luckily, a kindly priest discovers him there and takes him in for the night. Desparate, Valjean steals away the Church’s silver in the night and runs off before they wake–but is immediately caught and brought back before the priest by the police. But the priest proclaims Valjean innocent and the police are forced to let him free. Valjean then makes a point to turn his life around and the movie follows his story.

There are of course multiple branches, time frames and points of views throughout the film. The character Fontaine (Ann Hathaway) is introduced next as a factory worker who is separate to support her child, and ends up selling her teeth, her hair and her body to male strangers. Her story is a tragic one, but her daughter Cosette(Amanda Seyfried) is more fortunate as Valjean takes her in as his own daughter and raises her under his new alias.

Yet, Javert soon discovers him and realizes that he is the former thief who skipped parole and seeks to recapture him. The story leads the audience through the brutal French revolution, introducing yet another character, Marius (Eddie Redmayne) who falls for the lovely Cosette.

Though the story is full of absolute misery, death, and despair–it has such a powerful beauty that though you might be a little boogery by the end you feel a sense of revitalization. Small flecks of humor lighten the otherwise heavy atmosphere throughout the film, and the tiny glimmers of love throughout the otherwise dark film seem large and luminous in comparison.

All and all, I would see this film again and found myself humming “I dream a dream” all the way out of the theater. Les Miserables brings humanity back to film and I give it four cupcakes out of five.

Les Miserables

ParaNormon Paraphrased: A Movie Review

19 Aug

Norman isn’t normal–in fact–he’s paranormal–as the trailers would have you believe. My  little brother and I, both avid fans of movies such as Coraline, Corpse Bride and of course, the classic stop-animation recollection from my childhood, Nightmare Before Christmas decided that we absolutely had to see ParaNorman. In the dark of the old-fashioned Cameo Theater in Weymouth, we munched happily on candies and waited eagerly for the film to start. The best part? I only paid $5 per ticket for this lovely Sunday Matinee–and aside from my kid brother and myself, there was only four other people in the entire theater. But come the end of the film we found that ParaNoraman slightly missed the mark, and pales in comparison to our other stop-motion favorites.

Following the recent trend of Gothic looking characters and backgrounds in stop-motion, Paranorman opened up right away with our main hero, Norman, watching an old-time cheesy Zombie movie with his grandmother, which gives the audience a sort of foreshadowing as to what sort of mischief Norman will lead the audience into later. Norman is called into the kitchen by his parents to take out the trash and is asked by his Grandmother to ask them to turn up the heat, as she’s terribly cold. Norman scoots off to his parents in the kitchen–and the audience is straight away confronted with the aggressive, non-supportive father figure and the over lovey feeling mother character.  When Norman asks for the heat to be turned up for his Grandmother–it’s explained that his Grandmother is dead. His Father, it is made clear in the first few moments of the movie, and regularly enough throughout the film to make me dislike him, thinks Norman is a freak. His  older sister Courney, seems to agree. His mother takes a more open-minded, but level approach–but is almost to the point of being unbearably understanding throughout the whole film. All the same, this scene makes it clear to us that Norman can see and speak to the dead. That’s about where the charm in this movie ended for me.

Unlike it’s predecessors, ParaNorman stuck with an extremely modern undertone throughout the whole film. The old-timey, good-old-days charm that films such as Coraline or Corpse Bride held are essentially lost in ParaNorman. I believe it is for this reason that the film just didn’t give off that same feel-good vibe that we had come to expect. Like the Corpse Bride, the movie takes a long look at death–a rather weighty subject for most adults, never mind children–but the constant heaviness that comes with it, the constant battering of negative comments at Norman the main character and the ultimately dark lesson of accepting others cruelness as their fear, accepting whatever that makes them do to you and moving on made this film really not sit well with me.

On the plus side, the animation in this film is really well done. Compared to the stop-go motion of old, like Gumby and Pokey, it’s amazing to see how far stop-go animation has come. Most things look impressive and rather realistic as far as stop-go puppets go. Also, this movie is really genuinely trying to reach out to the newer generation. (Just in a rather negative scope.) Bullying is a major focus of the film, as is the acceptance of people different than you. ( Spoiler! The biggest reach out was that Mitch turns out to have a boyfriend.)  But other than that the movie is very much real to life–people are mean to each other, people are stupid, people judge and life tends to be crap–which isn’t what I personally go to see an animated film for. And I expect wasn’t what my kid brother had hoped for either. He put it best to sum up this movie when I asked what he had thought when he said,

“It was okay.” with a shrug of his shoulders.

On the Suddenleighanyonymous scale this movie rates a three out of ten. Another wait for DVD or rental or if you can avoid spending more than $5 on a movie ticket.

 

Take a Hike Magic Mike (Spoilers Kinda!)

22 Jul

As I’ve been mainly engrossed in this month’s JulNoWriMo challenge and trying to get my word count on par–I haven’t had much time for updating this blog and for that I’m rather sorry. What’s worse is that I’m behind on my word count, and instead of bulking that up I feel burnt out on it–and decided to write for all my loyal fans again! -fanfare-

As my boyfriend is away for a Wedding in Georgia, and I’ve been left to my own devices, I found myself this past Friday night itching for plans. And plans came in the form of a girls night out. And girl night out came…with strippers.

No, now don’t get all hot and bothered on me now. I’m of course refeering to the new movie featuing Channing Tatum and Matt McConaughey, playing  male strippers from Tampa in Magic Mike.

Now, frankly, this is not a movie I would normally go out of my way for. I am proud to admit that I am not one of those girls who constantly fantasize about intangible almost fictional human beings called, “Celebrities”, and am not so proud to admit that even shopping in Victorias Secret sometimes gets me flustered. This movie, was not made for girls like me. This movie WAS made for girls like some of my best friends who were eager to lay their eyes on the half-naked Tatum, especially when there was tell of being able to see his back side on the bear side.

For all of you flesh hungry ladies (or gentleman–I don’t judge) this film did not disappoint. Within the first five minutes of the movie, Tatum’s bottom takes center stage. As do a pair of female breasts. That’s right ladies and gentleman–this is practically porn! Although not the most nudity, or sexuality I’ve seen in a film to date, it does really push the line between what’s okay and what’s uncomfortable. Frankly, I know I will never be tempted to head to a male strip club any time in the near future just based on what happened to the ladies who dared to set foot in the club called Xquisite in Magic Mike. I have never liked the idea of being dry humped in the eye–but if that’s your thing by all means be my guest.

The story line is sort of flaky at best–a male stripper (Tatum) has a dream of leaving his nude-lifestyle behind and making custom furniture. (Already sounds like the plot to a bad porn right?) But due to his mainly cash not credit income source, his credit doesn’t look good to the banks and he can’t seem to get any loans to get his business off the ground. Meanwhile, he meets a character he called, “The kid” who is a 19 year old former football scholarship kid who lost it all in a fist fight who is looking for work. Ta-da! Magic mike to the rescue, takes “The kid” to strip in his club. From there, drugs, sex and the expected maddness ensues. Meanwhile, “The kid”‘s big sister asks Mike to look after her little brother, which he of course fails to do (duh) but which somehow leads to a romantic relationship between the sister and Mike. (Spoilers kinda!)

All and all–I liked the dance scenes in this film. But only the ones where they did not end with half-naked men on the screen. I would not ever see this film again, as it was probably more traumatic for me than seeking out sexy panties at Victoria’s secrets and having one of the sales girls ask if you were finding everything okay.

Ladies–if you’re looking for bad porn you can get it for free on the web. If you want some glitter and celebrities in your porn, go see Magic Mike.

The Amazing Spiderman and the not so amazing restaurant The Back Deck

6 Jul

As today I decided that I was too beat to actually work on my novel draft, I decided instead to fill in my lovely readers on my fourth of July adventures and misadventures.

Living in Boston makes the fourth of July a holiday of madness–but the good kind. Fireworks,food, tourists and all sorts of fun seems to burst forth from our fair city. But when rain threatens a good time here in Boston, a need for alternate plans arise.

For my boyfriend and I, out alternate plan became a trip to the movies: The Amazing Spiderman.

Now, many people seem to think that this movie is trying to be a continuation of the previous Spiderman movies involving Tobey Mcguire and the storyline with the Maryjane (Kerstin Dunst)  love interest. But this is a reboot people. Not only is the storyline different, the leading lady is too. This is Spiderman done better–and thank god for that because the world does not need another Tobey Mcguire style Spiderman.

In this version of our favorite web-slinging hero, Peter Parker is introduced at first to the audience as a child in his parents house. His loving, affectionate parents are playing hide-and-seek with the young Peter, when they discover their house has been broken into. Peter’s father, in a panic, begins unearthing hidden documents in the house, stuffing them in a bag and the whole family up and leaves in the middle of a rainstorm. They arrive, rather wet for the wear, at Aunt May and Uncle Ben’s house, where Peter’s parents say their goodbyes to him and tell him to be good. They never explain to Peter where or why they are going, but the way in which the film is shot, it seems his parents explain some unknown plight to his Aunt and Uncle before they leave him there. It is a tearful goodbye. We later discover they have died in a planecrash. (Familiar? Yes, but more personal this time.)

Flash forward to Peter in high school. He is bullied, but not the primary focus of the bullies until he sticks up for another kid getting his face stuffed in pizza. A beautiful blonde, Gwen Staci steps in when Peter is getting his head kicked in, this starts Peter’s crush on her. When Peter returns home later, it seems his Aunt and Uncle’s basement has flooded, and while helping his Uncle save things from the water downstairs, Peter discovers his father’s breifcase, which is fill of strange science research and a newspaper clipping.

With a little research, and some help from Uncle Ben, Peter discovers the man in the clipping is a former co-worker of his father, Dr Connors. Of course, Peter wants to know more about his father’s work, so off he heads to steal interns name-tags at Oscorp and effectively meets the Doctor. This is where Peter also is introduced to mutated spiders that Oscorp uses to spin super-strong thread–one of which bites Peter and gives him the crazy abilities of a Spider!

I won’t spoil too much more for you, but I will let you know that there is so much more going for this Spiderman than in previous movies. Rather than being the pushover, picked on kid from the previous films, Peter is a snarky, clever and witty character as seen in more recent comics. The film not only captures great humor and whimsey, but also has a certain depth of humanity that seemed skimmed over previously. The deaths within the film are touching, and sometimes unexpected. The villain is complex and hard to hate entirely. And the suit–is damn cool.

I went into The Amazing Spiderman thinking it would be disappointing–but this storyline brings a strange animal hybrid mad scientist tidbit into the story that makes it work far better. Rarely was there a moment in this film that made me ask, “Really? Yeah Right.”

After the film and in high spirits, my boyfriend and I set out to find a good meal. As it was the fourth of July we expected crowds and probably busy eateries in full swing–so when we stumbled across a new place nearby Max and Dylan’s and Fajitas and Ritas at  2 West Street, Boston, MA, 02111 we were intrigued. On we stumbled, putting in our names with the host stand. AS you walk into The Back Deck, a replica of a back yard patio comes to mind. Chairs and tables tend to be on the lawn-chair side, fake hanging plants and painted images of men in grilling-mode adorn the walls. A bar that looks as if it belongs poolside somewhere is the primary focus as you walk in to the left. It looked wonderful. But as we stood in the doorway, watching people who had walked in after us be seated first–we began to suspect something was amiss. After fifteen minutes of waiting for a table, we were seated. My boyfriend and I had only just sat down when we realized we would not like these seats. The wooden seats and table felt unstained and rough, and I worried that before the night was out that I would have splinters in my legs. The set up of the menu was somewhat of a concern as well. At first, my boyfriend and I thought we had only been handed the drinks list–but with some fiddling found that the menu was set up in a clipboard like fashion and had to be turned upwards. It was somewhat confusing. Our waiter stumbled over to the table, looking sweaty and sarcastic.

“Sorry folks. I’ll be right with you. Have you ever waited tables before?”

The question took me off guard but I admitted I had previously worked as a hostess and bussed tables at Fenway. The boy smiled and laughed and admitted that it was a hard job and that he would be with us shortly. Well, shortly ended up being much longer than I anticipated. I should have never given him the feeling of sympathy with my answer. I did not feel sorry for him. I felt annoyed. By the time he came over to take our order we already knew what we wanted for food, and drink as of twenty minutes beforehand. He was brisk with us, and hurried off after our orders were taken.

Once the food arrived, I wasn’t any happier. I had ordered the waldorf salad (which generally shouldn’t be hard right?), but wasn’t exactly pleased with the state of the lettuce. Much of it was brown and wilty. Luckily, the apples were fresh and the dressing was tasty. But even the Walnuts had a stale sort of taste to them. Our drinks were the worst of all. Mine ended up tasting disgusting, but as our waiter was mainly absent, I couldn’t order a new one. Instead, I watched in irritation as he chit-chatted with tables that hadn’t been there nearly as long as we had, and growled under my breath when he ignored me calling him twice.

I believe that the waitstaff is the heart and soul of a restaurant. If they aren’t pleasant–the whole place falls apart for me. This waiter was a shining example of who not to hire in a restaurant.  When he finally came to check on us, we just wanted the check and wanted to get out of there. It took him fifteen minutes to bring it to us, then as he put it on the table he said,

“Yeah sorry, don’t do this Fucking job.” and left. He never told us his name either.

I was aghast at his professionalism. My boyfriend happily left a shoddy tip. We will never go back there again.

So to all you waiters and waitresses out there–I know your job is difficult. I have done it. But please, dear god, be polite and courteous as possible. Or accept the fact that your tips will be cruddy.

Brave movie review and JulNoWriMo

2 Jul

So, I know I had mentioned wanted to review Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter the movie–but I haven’t gotten around to see it yet. Instead, my boyfriend was patient enough to sit through Pixar’s latest movie, Brave, with me.

Mainly, I think he was attracted to the fact that it was a Pixar film, because generally, they do not disappoint: but in this case I probably should have waited for it to come out on dvd.

Brave focuses on the Highland princess, Merida, and her thirst for the freedom to be who she is. Little does she know it, but her mother the queen is grooming her for her betrothal to one of the three clans eldest boys who then show up to try and “win” her hand with an archery tournament. Merida, determined to change her mother’s mind, seeks out a witch in the forest who gives her “a spell to change her fate” and “change her mother.” so she doesn’t want to force Merida to marry anymore. However, this crazy witch’s spell backfires, and literally changes her mother into a Bear.

Now, when I saw the trailers for this movie–I had no idea this was the direction this movie would take. And I’m rather disappointed. Though I loved the movie, and it’s message of mother-daughter bond rekindled, I was upset by how generally not creative this concept all was. I mean, all I could think of was another Disney movie called, Brother Bear. Made in 2003, Brother bear focused on the Native American folklore of “Spirit Animals” and involved a boy who kills a mother bear in vengence of his bother, who is then himself transformed into a bear in order to care for the slain mother bear’s son, Koda. The boys bond in bear form, much in the way that Merida bonds with her mother while her mother is in the form of a large black bear.

Overall, the film Brave is  beautifully animated, the details especially on the animals are amazing–but the plot itself leaves something to be desired.

To address that odd title of JulNoWriMo, for those of you who aren’t familiar with this: it stands for July Novel Writing Month, and I will be participating. The goal: 50.000 words by month’s end. I will be using the plot for the novel I’ve been planning. I’m rather excited, but also already tired. Wish me luck–and sorry if due to the novel I do not post as much here.

The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan (Now with Jelly Babies!)

21 Jun

I can hardly believe that the third book in the Kane Chronicle Series by Rick Riordan is already out on shelves. In fact, if I hadn’t been creeping on Mr. Riordan’s Facebook page–I probably wouldn’t have known for a long while.  But as luck or fate or by some blessing of Thoth (the Egyptian god of Knowledge–had a bird head–keep up people.) I managed to scoop up yet another tantalizing read.

If you’re extremely confused–please see my previous two reviews on The Red Pyramid and Throne of Fire, the first two novels in Riordan’s latest literary adventure.

Once again we join our favorite narrators, Sadie and Carter Kane as they take turns speaking into a tape recorder about their latest adventures and mishaps involving the Egyptian Gods. Once more our story starts with a less-than-pleasant battle within the walls of a museam, only this time the Kanes have no need to break in. After the last novel, we have been told that the House of Life (Sort of like the Egyptian Magicians Union) has been divided by the death of the former Head Lector, Dejardins, the appointment of the new Head Lector, the Kane’s uncle Amos, and the differing opinions in the Gods. As such, the Kanes have (a few) allies, including the group in Texas who runs the Dallas museum. What are they after this time–you wonder? Of course this novel’s goal is the absolutely necessary defeat of Apophis–a giant, sun-swallowing, chaos-loving snake that wants to destroy the world as we know it.

Apparently, Apophis has been immensely busy destroying one specific ancient artifact as of late, written by a former magician, Setne.(He literally comes back to haunt them later in the story.)  The Kanes and their initiates know that as this pattern continues, this scroll must hold some secret to beating the baddie–so they insist on trying to protect it. We see our fuzzy baboon friend, Jaz the healer/ rock-thrower and Walt the boy cursed to die young from magic use (See also King Tut.) are still part of the Kane’s gang, along with penguin-loving Felix for this round with chaos. Unfortunately, as seems to be the opening pattern in the Kane Chronicles, the mission goes horribly awry, ending in the deaths of party-going magicians gathered outside and the last scroll they needed destroyed.

Instead, Sadie has a vision of a pointy-nosed man she dubs “Uncle Vinnie” who materializes from the wall just before the battle and tells her to save the golden box. (Sadie almost dies in the process and has a chat with her favorite hottie-god Anubis who urgently tries to tell her something.) The group manages to do as much, and with no other survivors, they retreat back to Brooklyn House full of guilt and regret. Once home, the siblings figure out that the box they saved is also known as a Shadow box, for the Sheut,(Shadow) another important part of the Egyptian soul. Again, we see Riordan focus his novel on a major portion of the Egyptian soul using it as the primary weapon and theme throughout the novel. Bast–their pet cat-goddess–doesn’t seem very eager to help the children decipher much about the Sheut and instead directs them to Thoth.

It is then that Carter is called away for an important scrying message from Zia (aka the girl who was formally a shabti (a statue made to look and act alive.) ) Apparently, the news isn’t good and brings more threats from rebel magicians out for the Kane’s blood. Only highlighting the blatant fighting among the House of Life.

This message eventually leads to the splitting up of the Kane Siblings to accomplish two separate missions but not before a little scene at the children’s school–a dance. Here Sadie is confronted by Anubis, warning her just before they are separated by a very huffy God of the Wind, still attempting to tell her something urgent before he is swept away again. In his place is now a formerly evil Russian magician who has come to warn the Kanes of the imminent peril they face when facing the rebels.

With more bad news on their plates, Sadie and the Russian hurry to meet up with Amos while Carter and Walt head to ask Thoth for more advise. Both parties meet with difficulties which continue throughout the novel. ( Including various fights with the Gods, including one with a Goddess which Sadie convinces Jelly Babies are deadly creatures to hunt.)

The Deadly Jelly Babies (see also The 4th Doctor)

 

The biggest problem in this novel for the main characters (aside from the ever approaching threat of a giant snake eating the sun and how to destroy him.) is love troubles. Walt, the boy who Sadie falls for, is destined to die at a young age and there is a constant depressing threat of his imminent death overhanging their relationship. Meanwhile, Carter deals with at first unrequited feelings, then double what he had bargained for with Zia. Both Sadie and Carter must face the difficult probability of losing the person they have fallen for, along with each other.

This novel proves once more successful, in introducing a real connection to the characters as well as pulling off a fairly seamless storyline. Again, I found myself constantly pulled back into the pages of the story, wanting to know more, wanting to put the puzzle pieces of their newest problem together to see how Sadie and Carter would save the day (literally) in this one. Going along with the theme of Shadows, or Sheut, this novel seems to deal with a few more darker problems than in the last two novels: namely death and the soul. In the last novel, death was touched upon more than once, but it grows much more person in this novel. Walt’s character is developed through Sadie and Carter’s eyes, making you feel personally connected to him as they watch him slowly withering. Also, Sadie and Carter’s mother (who died prior to The Red Pyramid but now rules alongside their underworld dad, Osiris.) is also sucked into this concept of death, initiating the idea of total oblivion and losing those that we most love–a dark and difficult thought subject. Riordan manages to balance this darkness with his own, lighthearted narration from the eyes of Carter and Sadie.

I look forward to reading the next edition in this series (though it is hinted in the first and last chapters of the novel that Sadie and Carter won’t be making any more recordings due to the circumstances that arise in the end.) I am hoping this is just a ruse for the next novel.

Until the next time everypony!

 

Rick Riordan’s Third novel in the Kane Chronicles Series

 

Once more,