Of Musings and Wonderings











imagesCAEV2VH1I couldn’t even stay in my seat when I found out yesterday that Heroes was returning. Let me explain one thing. As much as I love Supernatural, American Horror Story, Once Upon A Time and all those TV shows I currently watch, Heroes was always my favourite. Coming out in 2006, when I was 16/17, Heroes, in a way, introduced me to American TV. Of course, growing up, I watched American shows – Teen Angel, Sister Sister, Kenan & Kel, Saved By The Bell – but they were kid’s shows. Heroes was something completely different, and it came out at a time when superheroes weren’t on our screens left, right and centre. It was also something different, at least to me. This wasn’t a show following just a small cast. Instead, we got to see a variety of different people, in different situations, waking up with powers and learning how to cope, as well as saving the world.

A Japanese office worker who finds out he can teleport and control time. A hospice nurse, kind-hearted, wanting to do the best for everyone, who finds out he can absorb the abilities of others. A politician who discovers he can fly. A single mother, struggling to get by, who develops a split personality. Her son, who can talk to machines. Among many, many others.

Seriously, how cool is that? Heroes was what made me start looking at other shows. I picked up Smallville, Dark Angel, Supernatural. I stopped watching Lost because I got bored. I never did get around to watching the doomed last series of Heroes.

Not until my internet got cut in my second year of University, anyway. I already had Volumes One, Two and Three on DVD, and watched them all, before heading down to the nearest Blockbuster and picking up the last season. And o, ye of little faith, I did find that it wasn’t as bad as some had made it out to be. It picked up, a lot. Whatever your views on the mid-seasons of Heroes, at least they tried, damn hard, with the last.

And it ended, in such an unsatisfactory way!

So much left unanswered! So much left open!

heroesThere is currently very little we know about Heroes Reborn. It’s by original creator Tim Kring, it’s a mini-series with only 13 episodes (such a tease!) and there’s a possibility that old, familiar faces will return. It may not happen, but personally, I really, really want to see Peter, Matt, Mohinder and Hiro back. Oh! And Daphne. Micah! All grown up! Maya was pretty damn cool, too. I’d be happy if Claire didn’t come back. And Masi Oka, who played Hiro, has stated on his Twitter “Time to dust off the sword?”

YES PLEASE!

Honestly, it could bomb. It could be a massive flop and end up terrible, but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that’s not the case. Hopefully, they keep it away from the pretty boy, aimed-at-teenagers thing like The Tomorrow People, and keep it more focused on the sort of thing Heroes brought to the screen. Sure, there were the pretty boys – Peter, Isaac, Mohinder, – but there were also guys like Matt and Hiro and Ando. As for the girls, well, they were pretty much all stunning, but that’s besides the point. The main cast were a nice, brilliant mix, with interesting stories and lots of different things that could be done with them.

Personally, I think they need to remember the fans. The people like me who cried out on seeing the last scene, knowing there wouldn’t be another. Well, thinking there wouldn’t be. I think they need to pick up from exactly where the last series left on – come on, show us the impact that had! Show us a world where the public at large know there are people around them who can do amazing, wonderful things! And answer some of the questions the original show laid out!

Yes, I am excited. I’m the girl with a Hiro action figure! With the two graphic novels volume! I have a huge poster of Peter Petrelli on my wall, a Christmas present from my friend! (Actually, they were all presents. Because my friends know me very well.) Of course I’m excited! My favourite show ever is coming back to the small screen, and even if I have to wait over a year to see it…

It’s still coming!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, makes me very, very happy indeed.

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{February 24, 2014}   Alone In The Dark [Films]

alone in the darkOh, God. I’d honestly forgotten I’d watched this one. The main reason I remembered is because I started keeping a list of movies and books, mainly so I would remember to get around and write about them. Well…the fact that this almost disappeared from my mind says a lot, doesn’t it?

Let me see how much I can actually remember of this…

Paranormal detective is hunting for some artifacts. Finds some, is chased down for it, teams up with super hot scientist Tara Reid, and together they, err, stumble across something weird and fight it. Also some stuff about him having grown up in an orphanage and losing his memory at the age of ten. Because he was experimented on, or something. Oh! The people he grew up with end up fighting him, too.

So yeah, there’s all that going on. Honestly? It really, really felt like this film was trying to do too much. There were moments where it could have been halfway good, but then they’d squeeze in some crap and just leave you going “Whha…”

The film jumps from one thing to the other with as little explanation as possible. The action scenes are really dark, which means there’s very little to see, and the ending gives an overall apocalypse feel…people are supposed to have been evacuated, yet they leave cars and such behind. Because when it comes to Alone In The Dark, clearly no one was thinking of the word ‘sense’.

No wonder some people believe it’s one of the worst films ever made. We did not know this when we watched it.

Basically, stay away. Stay far, far away, unless you want to feel like you’ve lost part of your life you can never get back.

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legends of windemereBeginning of a Hero tells the story of Luke Callindor, a young adventurer determined to prove his worth outside of his family name. His chance comes when he meets a royal messenger, and convinces him to hire Luke to protect the heir of Duke Solomon. Unfortunately, Luke has no information on what the heir looks like, no clues as to who they might be except that they are currently at the Hamilton Military Academy, a school run by former mercenary Selenia Hamilton. Luke has to avoid suspension, discovery and death at the hands of a demonic assassin, all while trying to work out who, exactly, the heir is, so he can protect them.

Admittedly, it took a while to really get into the book. Mainly because it’s a style that I (and I suspect most people) aren’t used to, the use of third person present tense. If not done well, it can be horrible. But luckily, Charles manages to pull it off, and after getting past the first few chapters it becomes much easier and enjoyable to read. I have read some third person present books that have been horrendous, and it’s great to see a writer who can actually do some good with it.

The characters themselves are nicely written, especially the characters that populate the academy around Luke. Some serious, like Selenia, others funny and comedic, adding a nice bit of humour into the plot. Luke forms his own group, made up of the people he trusts and likes, to help him in his quest. The characters balance each other out, and add something different to the action scenes later in the novel.

Possibly due to the use of present tense, some of the action scenes do get a little muddled. In places, it is a little dialogue heavy, and the dialogue is used for explanation purposes perhaps a little too much, detracting a bit from the story. But it’s definitely a novel where it feels like the author is getting better and better with each page, and it’s easy to enjoy reading it.

I’ve read a few self-published novels in the last few months. Some have been terrible. Others have been actually, pretty damn good. Maybe not as polished as traditionally published novels, but then again, these authors don’t have a whole team of editors behind them. And I’m very, very glad that Beginning of a Hero falls among them as one of the best self-published novels I’ve read, and it’s the strongest present tense one I’ve seen. If you like fantasy, and want to read something a little different, I strongly suggest picking this one up.

Oh! And what excellent timing! The novel’s free for the next three days, so go check it out and check out Charles’ blog while you’re at it, too.



{February 20, 2014}   Saga, Volume One [Graphic Novels]

saga“Am I shitting? It feels like I’m shitting.”

Authors spend ages thinking over the perfect opening lines, the perfect way to grab a reader and plunge them into a story. Saga does that brilliantly, with the first piece of dialogue (above) and the narration on the first page of the novel (This is how an idea becomes real). And, as we all know, the first thing a reader reads (and sees, in the case of graphic novels) is crucial.

Saga tells the story of Marko and Alana, soldiers from opposite sides, fighting in a never-ending war. Their attempts to escape the war backfire when they are tracked down, and they must run to save themselves, their love, and the life of their new-born child, the narrator of the story.

saga2As with Hit-Girl, the art in Saga is beautiful. Unlike Hit-Girl, the art here needs to do a lot more. Rather than just tell the story of the characters, the art also has to create whole new worlds, has to make us fully believe in the strange terrains and landscapes these characters travel across. And the appearance of the characters themselves has to say a lot, with the two main characters having more than just different home planets and lives separating them. They are also separated by their very appearance, Marko with his horns and Alana with her wings. But these aren’t the only two species inhabiting the worlds of the graphic novel. We also see human-like characters with TVs for heads, monkey-like men, and drifting lost souls. It’s clear that a hell of a lot of work has gone into the world building of this, and it pays off nicely.

As for the main characters, well, Marko and Alana are very human. They’re relatable, they bounce off each other and at times, have you wondering why the hell they’re together. There are moments when it’s clear to see the love they have for each other, and moments when they butt heads so spectacularly that it makes you question how they ended up together. But…it makes the relationship itself feel more real. After all, don’t we all know a couple that seem to click and compliment each other brilliantly one day, and the next just seem to act like children about something? But they’re the kind of couple that doesn’t take it too far, and are there to support the other one when it’s needed.

Marko and Alana are a lot like that, and little things about their relationship become more clear as we find out how, exactly, they met.

saga-no-killingAs well as the two main characters, there’s a whole host of supporting characters that are, basically, very strong. We get almost behind the scenes glimpses at those who had hired to track down the two runaways, and although at first the bounty hunters come across as right dick heads, but like Alana and Marko we’re treated to further glimpses into their pasts, and see more human-like, decent sides to them. There are characters that make you want to slap them, and there are characters that make you want to slap them then hug them then wish everything would just turn out all right for everyone, damn it.

Saga, the story of a love forged during a never-ending war, is a brilliant read. It really tugs you into the world, makes you feel for the characters involved – no matter what side they’re on – and leaves you, as all good novels, graphic novels, etc, should, wanting a hell of a lot more. Definitely worth checking out.



{February 16, 2014}   Hit Girl [Graphic Novel]

hit girlI haven’t seen Kick Ass 2 yet, though I desperately want to. But I have read both the Kick Ass graphic novels, and I have to admit, I was over the moon when I unwrapped my present from my brother at Christmas and found Hit-Girl. I read it the same day, but its just taken me this long to realise I didn’t actually write a post for it. (Silly me)

Hit-Girl acts as a bridge between Kick Ass and Kick Ass 2. It’s the story of Mindy, trying to cope with fitting in at middle school, trying to be normal while also sneaking out and training Kick Ass to be her sidekick in the night. While doing all this, Mindy also has to avoid the local police, including her step-father.

This isn’t just a story full of heroes beating people up and working for the greater good. Sure, there are those moments – of course there are – but there’s a lot more to Hit-Girl, and at the heart of it, there’s a lot more emotion, too, something I felt more strongly with Kick Ass 2 than the first one. The storytelling in these seems to be getting better and better, packing more of an emotional punch along with all the fun stuff.

imagesCA7P311WYes, there are some downright gruesome moments in the book. But we also get to see the real struggles of these characters, especially Mindy. It’s easy to forget, seeing her take down gangsters and mob bosses, and even going on a killing spree on death row, that she is, essentially, a kid in middle school. More importantly, a girl in middle school, who has to try to, for the first time, navigate the corridors of school politics, keep her grades up, and keep her parents happy.

And in Hit-Girl, it becomes apparent that it’s not the bad guys who are the only problem Mindy has to face. There are also the stuck up bitches who seem intent to put her down and single her out from her first moment through the door. And although she knows how awesome she is outside of school, she still wants to fit in. Mindy, essentially, wants what any girl her age her wants. Along with the guns and knives, she wants acceptance and normality, even if she only wants them as a front to present to her parents.

Kick-Ass does offer his advice on how she can fit in, but these all backfire, until Mindy uses her own skills to become OMG BFFS with the queen bee. And, honestly? As brutal as it is, it’s brilliant to see her gain the upper hand. After all, throughout the novel, she’s the one that we, as readers, root for, in all aspects.

There are parts of it that also show Red Mist, and we see him go from the spoilt brat in Kick-Ass to the villain we see in Kick-Ass 2, as well as getting glimpses of just how much of a dick he is, how naïve he can be at times, and the way his mind is clouded, completely, with getting revenge for his father’s death. Although he is a little whiny bitch, it’s good to really see him evolve, and see his own journey between the two, while Mindy and Kick-Ass make theirs.

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I don’t read a hell of a lot of graphic novels and comics – it’s unfortunately something I can’t really afford – but I do admire the work, the storytelling and the art that goes into them. Hit-Girl is no exception to that. There are images that will have you staring at the page for ages, just trying to capture everything in the panel, and there are moments where, like in any good novel, you just have to sit back and marvel at what happened.

Hit-Girl now sits on my shelf beside Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, and it feels like it really does belong there. A brilliant graphic novel, enjoyable, easy to read, and like I said before, packs a punch in every way.

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