Bright (2017) – Review

bright

Two thousand years after the fall of the Dark Lord, America still bears the scars of the conflict. Elves are the rich and powerful elite, living in secure, gated communities in the human cities. And orcs are the underclass – distrusted and feared, stereotyped (often accurately) as brutal gang members.

Ward (Will Smith) is the cop who’s unlucky enough to get partnered with the LAPD’s newest diversity hire: Jakoby, the first orc on the Force. Together, they have to deal with racism, corruption, and the constant threat of death. Also, someone might be trying to bring the Dark Lord back.

Continue reading “Bright (2017) – Review”

Advertisements

Shadow of the Savernake – Jayne Hackett (Review)

shadow of the savernake

Aborologist Florence Brock steps into the hollow of an ancient tree and awakes transported several hundred years into England’s past. Thrust into a land at war, where her skills count for nothing and her life even less, Florence has to forget everything she once knew and become something more. 
Her fate is entwined with Nat Haslet, a savvy and resourceful soldier marooned beyond his own time, desperate to get back home. Nat has learned what it is to survive in this broken land, doing what he must to stay alive.
Their incursion in the time-line alerts both friend and foe. There are those who would help them – The Taxanes – a secretive order as ancient as the trees themselves, who protect the time-line from ripples that were never meant to be. And there are those who would seek to use Florence’s knowledge for a far darker purpose, twisting history to their own malevolent ends.
Now, Florence and Nat must forge an understanding if they are to navigate the treachery of England’s lost and brutal past, before time itself runs out.” Continue reading “Shadow of the Savernake – Jayne Hackett (Review)”

Slouch Witch – Helen Harper (Review)

SlouchWitch.jpg

Ivy is a talented witch. Talented, but extremely lazy. So much so that she’s not really a practicing witch at all; instead, she’s a taxi driver who happens to do magic occasionally. Doing magic professionally would involve working with the Order, and their stuffed-shirt early-morning way of doing things is definitely not to Ivy’s taste.

When Ivy ends up magically bound to work with Nicholas Winter, the most stuffed-shirt of all the Order witches, she is less than thrilled. Tracking down a stolen scepter involves danger, diplomacy, and waking up before dawn, three things she would rather not be involved with. But with the binding in place, she doesn’t have a choice. She has to either find a way to break the powerfully magical bond, or to work with the irritating and irritatingly handsome Winter.

Continue reading “Slouch Witch – Helen Harper (Review)”

The Strategist – Gerrard Cowan (Review)

The Machinery is broken, and the old order cannot hold. Its downfall has let back into the world many creatures once forbidden, and they have begun to build strongholds and armies for the struggle to come. Charls Brandione, a former general, Aranfal, a secret policeman, and Canning, a merchant-turned-mandarin-turned-something-else-entirely, must learn what they can about this brave new world. Most of all, they must learn how to stay alive in it.

Perhaps I can best give the feel of The Strategist by  quoting a line of dialogue that comes up a lot: “What is this place?” Continue reading “The Strategist – Gerrard Cowan (Review)”

Ladycastle – Delilah Dawson & Ashley A. Woods (Review)

A paradise of green hills and beautiful women; the little town full of bustle and work; the sound of music in the air. And then a man arrives, as they are wont to do, bringing panic and disruption in his wake.

Ladycastle is a graphic novel all about how much trouble men cause: a refreshingly honest take on the classic fairytales. The Disney-style musical number that introduces the characters is a blunt account, in their own words, of how bad things are in the kingdom of men. I’ve got a lot of time for this approach. Continue reading “Ladycastle – Delilah Dawson & Ashley A. Woods (Review)”

Top Ten Tuesday – Monsters that it is difficult to be angry with

Top Ten Tuesday“Top Ten Tuesday” is a feature started by “The Broke and the Bookish“, in which people list their top ten books that match some given criterion. It changes every week, and happens on a Tuesday. Lots (a frankly ridiculous number) of bloggers take part.

This week, the theme is Halloween, without further elaboration. In the spirit of that then, I’ve chosen to list monsters who it is difficult to actually be angry with, regardless of what they do. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday – Monsters that it is difficult to be angry with”

The Machinery – Gerrard Cowan (Review)

41ctGTurmuLThe Overland have just finished conquering the Plateau on which their civilisation exists. No-one else stood a chance; the Overland select their leaders according to the whims of an omnipotent (and titular) Machine, which has given them an edge for the last ten millennia. Hegemony beckons.

But overshadowing all of these achievements is a prophecy that the government have done their best to stamp out. A faction of Doubters claim that the machinery has begun to break down and soon will halt completely. A secret police of hideously-masked Watchers scour the crowds for signs of this heresy, disappearing and torturing anyone they deem guilty. Among all of this a range of viewpoint characters, including Katrina Paprissi, a young woman whose brother vanished in mysterious circumstances, navigate a complex web of power games mediated by the machine’s whims. Continue reading “The Machinery – Gerrard Cowan (Review)”