Friday, August 25, 2006

Book Review -- A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones
by George RR Martin

Premise: Winter is coming! The long Summer is ending and change is on its way. When the Hand of the King dies, the lives of the Starks are affected when King Robert decides he wants Ned to be his new Hand, bypassing others. When a mysterious letter from the previous Hand's wife insinuates the death was deliberate, and by the Queen's family, Ned is left with little choice but to take the position and go investigate.

Review: Each chapter is done from the point of view of a different character. Most belong to the Starks but there are several others as well - and serve to give the reader an encompassing view of what it going on in this rich world. My daughter hooked me into the series, telling me she especially loved it because it did not matter if you had chapters of your own, this did not keep you from getting killed! It is definitely a dark time and somewhat depressing. The waste hits the fan and hits it big. But volume 1 seems to be but the first peel of the onion and hints are given of the layers we might find underneath. We are but at the top of the pyramid. The book is dark and at times very brutal, life without tinted glasses in a harsh time about to get worse. Yet the characters are totally compelling with definite personalities of their own. The amount of detail/life he was breathed into this work is amazing. A great start to what promises to be an enjoyable if grissly ride. ***3/4!!!

Movie of the Week - Barnyard

Staring: Kevin James, Courtney Cox, Sam Elliot, Danny Glover, Wanda Sykes, and Andie McDowell

Premise: Otis, who has up to now led a party life, suddenly finds himself being chosen as leader of the barnyard, when Coyotes take the life of his foster father. Can Otis live up to the resposibility or will he cave under pressure?

Review: Very cute movie with deep messages and lots of fun. Though the whole concept of having boy and girl cows is rather weird (There's a bull at the farm also, but they never get into the details of how this works!) all else is fun! You get to see the whole farm get funky and loose. The boy tipping scene is definitely included and actually works well for what it was used for. Otis learns some hard lessons, but all comes out well in the end. ***1/2!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Book Review - Windfall

Windfall (Book 4 of the Weather Warden Series)
Author: Rachel Caine

Premise: Joanne Baldwin is finding life outside the Wardens somewhat difficult. Her job is demeaning, her powers seem to be going, and worse of all, David doesn't seem to be healing. But if that weren't enough, throw in her now destitute sister and the beginning of a djinn civil war!

Review: I think this is probably my favorite book of the series so far! Whirlwind action, mysteries, goons, family! The dominoes are still falling from the chaos of book 1 and continue to pick up steam. More is revealed about the origin of djinn and where they are going as a race. And if you thought things from her past haunted Joanne before, more are adding themselves to the pile. If there is one thing that happens around here is consequences to actions! :P ***3/4!!!!

Movie of the Week - The Ant Bully

The Ant Bully
Cast: Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Bruce Campbell (Oh yeah!)

Premise: Lucas, a 10 year old boy, is constantly picked on by the neighborhood bully and not taken seriously by his family. Frustrated, he takes out his feelings on the local an colony. Well, the ants have had enough of that! Deciding to take steps of their own, they shrink Lucas to their size and drag him to the ant hill for judgement. Unlike what some want, however, Lucas is not killed, but told he will remain with them until he too is an ant.

Review: Very cute movie! Awesome animation. The ants have their own unique look and feel even culture. Bruce Campbell is a total hoot as Fugax! Lessons are learned on all sides, not just by Lucas. May give parents a problem as their kids will no longer want them to kill ants and they spread jelly beans out on the lawn for their ant friends. :P ***!!!!
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