June 30, 2011

Damsels in Distress & Happily Ever After

Growing up we've been put to bed by our parents by either reading us a good story or letting us watch a good G-Rated cartoon/movie. Every birthday cake is inspired by Disney characters and we'd always play with the fairies, adorable talking animals, and pretend we could fly. We would swing on trees, wield our swords against witches and sorcerers and go home to Mommy or Daddy boasting how we saved the day. Fairy tales were and probably still is a big part of our lives. I've seen, heard and read hundreds of tales on how we want to ride into the sunset and live happily ever after with our Prince Charming.

Lately there seems to be another Hollywood trend wherein some of our most beloved fairy tales are given a make over to appeal more to the older generation. In fact there are two Snow White versions being produced as of the moment. So in light of this, lets turn the wheels of time and revisit some of fairy-themed movies.

The Brothers Grimm with Matt Damon and Heath Ledger. Two hunky guys who are the genius behind a lot of our favorite bedtime stories. As seen on the movie, the original Grimm stories are dark and violent, hardly a feel good story that will help put a restless child to sleep, a very stark contrast to their Disney counterpart. An action/adventure movie through and through plus having two hunky men onscreen never hurt.

Before Whitney went to the deep end and Brandy got involved in that unfortunate event, there was Cinderella. It's not your typical Cinderella story because it's a musical and the cast are members of different ethnicity but a couple of songs into the movie and you won't even notice that. They managed to keep the storybook feel in terms of the effects, costumes and backdrop and the story wasn't tweaked that much either aside from making it funnier than the usual melodrama associated with this tale. The songs are catchy and Whitney Houston rocked as the fairy god mother.

I love Drew Barrymore as Cinderella in Ever More. She's not the typical doormat damsel, she's feisty and goes after what she wants albeit on the sly. The fairy dust is absent on this film so we won't see magic and pumpkins turning into carriages and all that. It's tweaked to appeal to the grown ups who still fancies the idea of Prince Charming and happily ever after. A chick flick through and through and unless you're on the first stages of dating or your guy is into Drew Barrymore then I suggest that you see this film with your girlfriends.

Not your typical cartoon, the Shrek franchise appeals to almost everyone. A movie adaptation based on a picture book of the same title, here we have a power house voice cast combined with parodies of classic Brothers Grimm stories and pop culture. These four movies will surely evoke a couple of laughs. It's so amazing that DreamWorks was able to maintain the voice actors all throughout the franchise which lends consistency to all four films. My favorite is Eddi Murphy and his storyline with the Dragon and their little Dronkies.

A classic turned Supernatural and in my opinion, I think this is what the Brothers Grimm really meant when they printed Little Red Riding Hood ages ago. Red Riding Hood is dark and and a grown up fantasy film. Amanda Seyfried was perfect to play Valerie with those amazing blond locks and big, blue, innocent eyes. The movie will keep you in suspense til the end and will definitely keep you guessing who the Werewolf is.

Disney's Enchanted is what made Amy Adams a household name. In an attempt at self-parody to the Disney Princess archetype, this movie is funny and touching at the same time plus it's a musical which adds to its charm (my favorite is the Central Park Parade). We got a clueless Princess who can beckon animals to do her bidding with a song, a Pantaloon wearing, sword wielding Prince out to save her from the evils of NYC and McDreamy as her savior, we got everything we need for a hilarious, feel-good movie.

Hallmark Channel's Snow White: The Fairest of them All didn't deviate much from the classic story but this version made some of the elements darker and scarier. Miranda Richardson is a scene stealer as Queen Elspeth, the wicked stepmother and Kristen Kreuk pulled off the role as Snow White pretty well. For a TV movie made in the 90's this film is one of the best Snow White retelling so far.

Another Walt Disney production, Hook is based on the very precocious Peter Pan and his band of mischievous children out to annoy Captain Hook. Although Robin Williams is not very appealing as Peter Pan the movie made up for it in terms of visual effects and Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook was just amazing! In true Disney fashion, the story is very wholesome.

I still have to catch Beastly starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer. I just read the book and Flinn just modernized the story, making it more appealing to this generation but the key elements are still present. The Witch putting a curse on a Prince for having a rotten core turning him into a ghastly, hairy beast, banished from society. The only thing that can save him is a kiss from his one true love who will love him for who he is and not what he looks like. The story is still relevant today in terms of what it wants to convey especially now that we are so influenced and pressured to be like what we see on TV, movies and magazines. Although most critics said that this movie was not so good, I'm still curious enough to catch this on DVD.

There are still dozens of movies based on various folk lore about damsels, princes and knights and I'm sure that we'll see more of this in the future. Fairy tales were and will always be part of our lives and the generations to come. They not only inspire us to dream but also to persevere and not to lose hope.

June 28, 2011

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Click here for the sample chapter
Series: Mercedes Thompson 2
Format: Hardback
Release Date: January 30, 2007
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen...

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.

Our reluctant heroine who is at times a coyote continues her adventures on Blood Bound. There's a new demon-vampire in town and only Mercedes Thompson can stop him. Since Mercy is impervious to some magic, her Vampire buddy Stefan asked for her assistance to welcome Cory Littleton, newly made Vampire, demon-rider and Sorcerer extraordinaire. Meeting Cory was more than Mercy has bargained for. To say that she was astounded by his blood lust is an understatement.

Soon there were multiple cases of violence and death in the Tri-State area that has got even the Police concerned. And with the Fae and the Werewolves' recent coming out in the public eye, all is looking bleak in the world of Supernatural creatures. As a damage-control maneuver, Stefan teamed up with another Vamp Daniel, who'd also fallen prey to Cory's spells, and the Weres Warren and his fellow pack mate Ben, and together they hunt down Cory and stop his killing spree.

Mercy is pulled further into this bad situation, her friends turned up missing, Warren was on the verge of death, more innocent people are killed and she herself is being hunted by Cory. And of course to spice things up, she is getting even more involved with pretty boy Alpha Were Adam and her relationship with her once boyfriend/mentor turned roommate, Samuel, gets even more complicated.


I slept at 3am because I cannot shut down my brain not until I've finished reading the book. Need I say more on how much this series is growing on me? I mean the last series that I felt this involved with is probably The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning.

I like Brigg's mythology. Her version of preternatural beings are so raw, so dangerous and so seductive. The Werewolves are not tame, they'll eat you and tear you to pieces if you're at the wrong place at the wrong time. They're savage which reminds us why Vampires are wary of Werewolves, they are as predatory as their dead rivals. They're hot too and I'm not just talking about body temperatures here, Patricia Brigg's Weres are HOTT, oozing with animal magnetism and untempered sensuality.

Briggs chose to retain the lore behind the Vampire myth, they are lethal, true predators, unapologetic and unscrupulous, their conscience and their sense of humanity long gone. The Fae are not just magical beings but dangerous creatures as well. It's a little reminder why these Supernatural creatures are the inspiration behind countless horror movies and Halloween costumes.

And of course, there is the building super typhoon love entanglement between Mercy, Adam, Samuel and I think Stefan will be joining the menagerie soon. So I think you'd understand why I'm swept by the series so far. And just like any tease, there's no major steamy love scenes just yet. No siree. I think Briggs wants to make sure that you're hot and heavy for her men before she gives us any.

I'm hopeless! I'm on my way to the library now to pick up the next one, Iron Kissed. Here's to hoping that I'll sleep early tonight.

June 27, 2011

REVIEW: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #1
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: January 2006
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.
First of all I'd like to thank my partner Cimmaron for recommending this book. I love it! I finished Moon Called in 24 hours because I'm just glued to it. I just took a break when True Blood came in.

Anyway we got a Walker (or Shifter in some myths), a couple of hot Werewolves, a seethe of Vampires and the Fae is not far behind. This has everything that this blog lives for! Perfect read on a rainy Sunday.

So our heroine is Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson, a Walker, who owns a garage in the Tri-State area. She was raised by Werewolves, she's got a degree in History, she owns a garage, a mechanic by trade, and she turns into a Coyote when the need rises. Her neighbor is this hot, ex-military, Alpha Were named Adam who has a daughter named Jesse.

Their business got intertwined when a new Were, Mac, came to Mercy for a job and they found out that some funky business is going on in Chicago, a pack is selling new Weres as subjects for some experiment. The next thing we know, Mac is lying dead in Mercy's front door, Adam is seriously injured and Jesse got kidnapped. With nowhere to go, Mercy went off to Montana with Adam to seek help from the Marrok (the ultimate Alpha) whose son happens to be Mercy's ex.

What happens next is action packed. The rescue operation, a witch helping out the perps and a betrayal that led to death. We discover that the motive behind the whole shenanigan is preventing the Marrok from making a public announcement that Werewolves exists coupled with personal issues.

I like Patricia Briggs style of writing. I like the way she inserts the back stories of the characters, she follows the normal thinking process so we won't be reading chapters of flashbacks. She doesn't linger on giving out too much details, she leaves enough room to the imagination. However we are not shortchanged with her descriptions, it's rich and direct without too much analogies so we stay engrossed to the story.
I was so absorbed with this because I always love strong female characters that are not just pretty but can kick some serious ass (unlike the very popular Bella Swan, ugh!). Mercy reminds me of Sookie Stackhouse in such a way that their moral compass are so intact, they lean towards doing what's right regardless if their safety will be put on the line. They're both independent and are fiercely loyal to those around them.

And the Weres, OMG the Weres! I've always been partial to these creatures with their hot temperature, lean and muscular bodies, amazing speed and agility and the fact that they're related to dogs just appeals to me. They are both cuddly and lethal at the same time so I'm so glad that I'm finally reading a series where the Weres take center stage.

So if you like Jacob Black and/or Alcide Herveaux, then this is the series for you! Team Were all the way!

She's Not There

So I guess majority of us have seen the season 4 premier of True Blood. All I can say is this is my most anticipated season because like Cimmaron, my fave is book 4 of the series, Dead to the World, where the whole Sookie-my-lover thing begins.

First of all, what's up with the faery world?! Like how come those faeries suddenly looked like that guy from Leprechaun the movie? I'm guessing that Alan Ball doesn't really like that part of the story so he just decided to be done with it early on (maybe) since he brought them waaayyy too soon in the story.

And Bill is the King of Louisiana now?! Well that's ok since I really don't like Evan Rachel Wood as Sophie Ann, she was overdoing it (I like her but NOT as Sophie Ann Leclerq). But it's so sad seeing Bill still pining for Sookie. I mean it's so heartbreaking to read it in the book but it definitely takes it to another level to actually see him so brokenhearted over her.

Cimmaron was correct in her speculation that Tara will go play for the other team because she did. She also looks leaner and prettier this season. Go Rutina Wesley!

Although Lafayette should have been long gone, I'm glad they kept him. He adds additional color to the cast what with his bedazzled tanks, studded belts and his fashion statement, his headbands! Plus the forever virgin Jessica is so adorable and her relationship with Hoyt is just so cute.

Then I went ahead and saw episode 2 because I just need more! It was so exciting and the episode holds a lot of promise with the witches and Necromancy. It ends with Sookie finding Eric on the side of the street, shirtless and wandering with a blank look on his face. So I'm guessing HBO will turn up the heat big time!

But I do recommend that y'all get HBO and the HBO Go app. It's so ridiculous how the Facebook "likes" suddenly jumped from 3M yesterday afternoon to 8M after the first episode premiered. They have this double premier tonight so some of us can watch next week's episode. After watching it I think I made a bad call because not I don't think I can wait 2 weeks for episode 3! LOL

June 25, 2011

Back to Basics

This is where it all started…

Who could ever forget Interview with the Vampire? It ushered a completely different genre of Vampires, a complete three-sixty from Bram Stokers Dracula.

It was in 1994 when this movie came out. At that time, when someone says Vampire, to me it means night crawling blood hounds out to suck you dry. Some kids are afraid of the Boogey Man, my monster were Vampires.

So who would've thought that they could be so angelic, sexy and undeniably seductive? Brad Pitt did the trick for me. He cured my night terrors and instead of dreading my bedtime, I started looking forward to it, fantasizing that Louis would seek me out, turn me immortal, and ask me to be his consort til the sun finally caught up with us.

If only...

The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

The Kane Chronicles
Format: Hardback
Release Dates: May 4, 2012; May 3, 2011
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

From the same guy that brought us the Percy Jackson series now brings us The Kane Chronicles. It's another brother-sister tandem who cannot be more different than night and day. When their mother mysteriously died, the siblings Carter and Sadie were separated. Carter went globe-trotting with their Egyptologist Dad while Sadie stayed in London with her maternal grandparents. They only got to see each other once a year and in one of this reunions they discovered that they are descendants of Egyptian Pharaohs and they are powerful magicians.

In their first misadventure, their Dad awakened the Egyptian god Set and banished him to a Duat (another dimension) acting as the god Osiris (the Egyptian equivalent of Hades). The siblings were thrust in the company of magical creatures, other magicians, countless Duats and slowly discovers the magic and mystery of their mother's death and their Egyptian ancestry.  Now they're mission is to stop Set and his devious plan of conquering the world... which they eventually did but not before releasing Apophis (a giant snake similar to the Leviathan associated with Chaos).

End Red Pyramid.

After a break from the crazy, we rendezvous again with the Kane siblings in another adventure. Now they have more company, other descendants of Egyptian Pharaoh's (House of Life) have joined them and their quest for vanquishing Apophis, or the Chaos Snake. Here they try to waken Ra, the Sun God, for he is the only one who can vanquish Apophis. However Ra is this geezer, nursing home patient that doesn't seem competent to battle anyone much less the creature who's supposed to destroy the earth.

The Kanes find themselves striking deals with suspicious characters, finding allegiance in the most unexpected places and meeting more Egyptian Gods and Goddesses along the way.

Ok, this has Disney written all over it. Not a surprise since they published the series but I mean it has that "happy" quality to it. It's written in alternating POV's in the form of an audio recording. But it's written wonderfully that it feels like I can hear them and the inserted side comments didn't hurt either.

The stories are fast paced and action packed and it will definitely appeal to the 10+ readers. So if you're a parent or a concerned adult and would like to screen what the young ones are reading, this passes the test. It doesn't have that emo quality that seems to be very popular these days, the characters themselves each provide comedic relief which really gives off this positive and adventurous vibe albeit the fact that the heroes are preventing the end of the world.

I love young adult fiction even if I'm years overqualified for that section. But like what I said, this book is more for the pre-puberty peeps. If you're into the slightly "heavier" reads then I think you'd find this boring. However if you liked the Percy Jackson series and The Immortal Secrets of Nicolas Flamel then this is the book for you.

I'd just advise you to take a book break, like read something else, in between this series and the Nicolas Flamel one because there are Egyptian characters in the Flamel books and it might get jumbled up in your head. Overall, I love this series and I won't be surprised if Disney turns this into a movie. It has all the right ingredients to it anyway.

Happy weekend everyone!

June 23, 2011

Simply follow the Owl

The mystery is finally unveiled. Too bad it's not a new series but this sounds very exciting! Login to their site and who knows, you might be one of the chosen few who can help shape this part of the Harry Potter Experience.

The Lives of the Mayfair Witches by Anne Rice

An ancient spirit. A family of witches. Incest & intrigue. Anne Rice & New Orleans.

The saga starts with Suzanne Mayfair, the first in the long line of witches, summoning an ancient spirit, Lasher in Donnelaith, Scotland before being burned at the stake. Lasher promised to watch over her line in exchange for them helping him eventually turn to flesh again. Lasher believed that the Mayfairs are strong enough to do this with the hopes of eventually bringing his offspring into the world.

We follow the female line of Suzanne Mayfair and how they eventually became one of the most prominent and wealthy family in New Orleans. But their bloodline is spiced with murder, deception, seduction, rape & incest, and intrigue done with Lasher's ministration and manipulation. The Witching Hour provides the very exciting history of this indomitable family, they are not your usual type of witches armed with wands and spells. Their "witchcraft" is in the form of telekinesis, telepathy, clairvoyance, supreme cunning and intelligence to name a few. 

In Lasher, the spirit finally became flesh after centuries of waiting with the help of Rowan Mayfair. Anne Rice weaves a story about an ancient line of people called the Taltos that lived in Donnelaith, Scotland. They would breed, give birth and grow to full adulthood in a matter of hours. When the Romans came, they ravaged their village, copulate with them but failed, causing their females to die or give birth to dwarves. Lasher believed that he is the spirit of St. Ashlar, the last King of the Taltos who converted to Christianity and had everyone who did not turn to the true faith get burned at the stake including his wife.

The series closes with Taltos. We meet the real Ashlar, now a toy mogul who lives in New York. He hears that there have been sightings of other Taltos until he met with Rowan Mayfair who also gave birth to another Taltos by Lasher. If you're familiar with her other series, The Vampire Chronicles, you'll read about the Talamasca, David Talbot and Mona Mayfair pre-vampirism. The story concludes with Ashlar running off with another Taltos from the Mayfair line to Scotland where they presumably lived happily ever after.

This is old school Anne Rice. The series has some very straightforward steamy scenes that can sometimes make your head spin leaving you saying "Say what now?" classic Anne indeed. Rice is such an amazing writer, I often feel like I'm being taken on a tour in the streets of New Orleans from the Garden District down to the French Quarter. She's able to capture the eras that she writes about, I almost feel like I'm watching the scene instead of reading it. These books are very good reminders why she's one of the most beloved postmodern writer in the paranormal, goth and erotic genre.

I believe that one of the reasons why her writing is so provocative pre- return to Catholicism is because she takes on issues that are considered taboo. Like for example, in Mayfair Witches, incest and murder are some of the subtexts that color the series. At times one would feel like it was written without a hint of conscience, the deviousness were considered "necessary evils" as a means to a desired end. Justified. Matter-of-fact. She writes about these things in a very direct way, challenging our fragile moral gauge, but still we tread on, we read until the story ends leaving us wanting for more.

Ms. Rice, I understand that you went back to the Catholic faith and there's nothing wrong with that. We all need to believe in a power greater than us. However, I hope that you can dig up your alter-ego from the grave and write more stories like this. The world is in need of hardcore paranormal stuff. We need a trend-setter that sets the bar higher. A piece that not just entertains but provokes our fickle tastes and dexterous minds. Something that will prompt us to DEMAND something great and not settle for ordinary books that are just riding the wave.

June 21, 2011

The Witch and The Wizard by James Patterson

Series: The Witch & Wizard 1 & 2
Format: Hardback
Release Date: December 14, 2009; December 31, 2010
Purchase Links: Amazon

Another brother-sister team who are on the verge of discovering that they are special and that they have special powers. The story is narrated in alternating POV's by the siblings Whitford and Wisteria Allgood in a form of a testimonial.

The first book tells us how they were arrested in the middle of the night at their house accused of witchcraft by the totalitarian government called New Order. There were other teenagers who were arrested in an effort to suppress them, their freedom, their way of life. They managed to escape and save other prisoners but they have yet to look for their parents.

In The Gift, they were once again betrayed and captured, The One needs Wisty for she is "The One Who Has the Gift".  They are slowly coming to terms with their powers as they move forward with the rebellion, the more intense the situation and emotion, the more that their powers come out.

Patterson collaborated with Gabrielle Charbonnet (Witch and Wizard) and Ned Ruse (The Gift) and the saying two heads are better than one is totally not true in this case. Is this series a joke?! I mean seriously, I've heard of James Patterson and I know he's a best-selling author but these books are like first drafts. I don't understand what possessed the editor to give the go signal to get these published. It's like his friends came over and they have this dream of becoming a writer and Patterson decided that he'll help them out. Bad decision.

Let me defend my review, the narration is confusing and very slow paced. Witches and Wizards was just about their jailbreak, going back to jail and another jailbreak. Of course there were other events in between but those were the highlights. In The Gift, they were captured again, broke free and still we have no clue as to who they are, what their history is and why they are so special. I'm all in for suspense and mystery but this is just not straightforward enough for my taste. I have to go back and re-read chapters because they seem to be  morphing from one location to the next without warning. Even the spells were badly written, it doesn't have a sense of authenticity to it. It feels like the book is dancing on different tunes at the same time. The only redeeming part is New Order Propaganda who releases a list of banned artists using parody to present them: Harry Potter is Gary Blotter; Justin Bieber is Dustin Beeper; Taylor Swift is Swifty Tailor; and Miley Cyrus as Smiley Pyrus to name a few.

You don't have to take my word for it but you're better off reading something else.

June 19, 2011

Vampire Princess

The Smithsonian Channel made this documentary about a Bohemian Princess named Eleanore Elisabeth Amalia Magdalena von Schwarzenberg (1682-1741). I know it's a mouthful but their intro was enough to get me to set my DVR to record. This is the first time that I've heard of this princess and her connection to the Vampire myth so my curiosity was really piqued at this point.

Princess Eleanore is a passionate huntress as seen in her life size portrait. However amongst all the beasts, the wolf is special. You see, like any family born in aristocracy in those days, having an heir and a male one at that is a must. Eleanore would have her servants milk the wolves she's captured and she would drink them everyday for it is believed that it increases fertility and the ability to bear a male heir.

It was not in vain for she gave birth to a son at age 41, considered to be a medical miracle in her time. Some would credit it to sorcery. 

When Eleanore became ill, her health declined very fast. She would experience consistent pain in her abdomen and lower extremities. Due to this illness, she became very ill, emaciated and her orders in the apothecary was very eccentric. When she died, an autopsy was conducted and some speculates that this is probably an intervention to hide her condition or preventive measures in case she was indeed infected with vampirism.

Overall, the documentary failed to present any considerable proof to at least put Eleanore in the same category as Vlad the Impaler or even Elizabeth Bathory. Eleanore didn't murder anybody, no records of any psychotic behavior or even abuse. She would dabble in the occult in secret, keeping charms and the like to protect her from the evil eye but it was not to the point of witchcraft. 

Of course this is just my opinion. Below is a teaser of the documentary, you may view the entire episode on

June 18, 2011

The Bloody Lady

With all this hype going on about Vampires fueled by HBO's True Blood season 4 premier and the upcoming release of the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn, I thought I'd give a little factoid.

Meet the Blood Countess aka Countess Elizabeth Bathory de Ecsed of Hungary(1560-1614). Considered to be the serial killer in the history of serial killers. With the help of four of her servants, they allegedly murdered 600 women and girls in the span of 15 years.
 Witnesses say that she dabbled in the occult and would drink and even bathe in virgin blood in order to retain her youth. Obviously the Countess has some serious psychological problems and according to reports, she would lure her victims then torture them afterwards. Decapitation, mutilation, burning her victims' faces, genitals and other body parts. She would subject them to sexual abuse, surgical experiments and extreme starvation which would result in their deaths.

Although tried for murder, Elizabeth escaped persecution but was put under house arrest in Csejte Castle. She was found dead on August 21, 1614 although the exact date and cause of her death remain unknown.

Consequently, Bathory hailed from an old and wealthy line of Transylvania ancestry. This resulted to comparisons with Vlad the Impaler or Count Dracaula, earning her the title Countess Dracula. A movie titled Bathory based on her life was released in 2008.

June 16, 2011

Mortal Instruments the Movie

It's official!

According to IMDB and Cassandra Clare's website, Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower will be playing the lead roles in the upcoming movie set to be released in 2012.

Like any movie adaptation, expect that it won't be 100% based on the series, certain creative liberties will be taken. However on an interview, Clare said that Clary and Jace's forbidden love will stay and Alec will remain gay.

I don't want to set my expectations too high because Hollywood has disappointed me a lot insofar as movie adaptations are concerned, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Queen of the Damned and Eragon to name a few. So let's hope that this movie will be decent enough and Collins and Bower will give justice to the role.

We'll see.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Series: Infernal Devices
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: August 2010
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Infernal Devices is the prequel to Mortal Instruments but the team is more or less the same: two guys and a girl Nephilim make the team plus a random damsel in distress set to join the crew after being saved by them.

We meet Will Herondale, (who is very reminiscent of Jace Wayland) quick witted and very dashing, the mysterious James Carstairs and the reluctant Jessamine Lovelace. Then there's Tessa Gray, a shapeshifter, who is on a mission to look for and save her brother. Here she discovers the world of Downworlders, Vampires and other supernatural beings roaming the streets of London during the Victorian era.

What's good about this series is that although it's a prequel, you don't have to read this before moving on to the "modern" set. The story is not directly related to City of Bones and the rest of the books and in fact, you can read both series at the same time as Cassandra Clare is releasing volumes of Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices simultaneously. If you like period novels over a 21st century setting, then this is for you as you. You get to keep your fascination for the supernatural sort with 19th century London in the background, complete with petticoats, carriages, morning coats, hats and the like (gotta love historical fiction)!

It's more or less an echo of the Mortal Instruments series as far as Clockwork Angel goes (or probably because I read both series in succession it got blurred in my head), probably because the characters of both series are related somehow and there are similarities in their traits. Aside from having a different plot, the dialogue is pretty much similar (Will is as sarcastic and guarded as Jace) and then of course there's the ever present forbidden-love angle. I wasn't trumped by Clockwork Angel but I was very much entertained by the setting, the gadgets and Magnus Bane. 

However this didn't deter me from wanting to read Clockwork Prince because based on the Cassandra's tweets, it sounds like it's much more exciting than this one. The plot thickens *rubbing hands together*. I also want to know where Tessa's destiny will take her, if she can fit the Nephilim world being a Downworlder. Will Jessamine betray them since she hates being a Nephilim? And Magnus Bane, oh Magnus Bane, you are my favorite, thank you Ms. Clare for including him in this series as well.

Book two of the Infernal Devices is scheduled to be released December 6, 2011. So if you know someone who's following the series, you know what to get them for Christmas. Cassandra tweeted a samples of this book

Book Three titled Clockwork Princess doesn't have a release date yet.

REVIEW: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandar Clare

The series is about Nephilims, descendants of fallen angels who procreated with humans creating a race superior to us. Their powers are divine in origin but since they're part human, they're susceptible to certain temptations and errors in judgment. The Shadowhunters, help keep the Supernatural world in line, hunting demons, policing Vampires, Weres, Witches and Warlocks, and other preternatural beings from being exposed to the human race.

The story unfolds with Clary Fray and how she discovered the hidden-world of Shadowhunters and Supes living amongst us in the heart of The Big Apple. Then her mom was abducted by demons and how she herself was being hunted down by these vile creatures. This made the Shadowhunters curious and why can she see them when they've been living in obscurity and glamour for so long, they're only visible to members of their world. "Who is Clary Fray?" is the question that burns their minds.

Thrown in the thick of things without warning, Clary needs to save her mother, battle her father, channel her powers for the good, save the world from damnation, saving her friendship with her bestfriend turned vamp Simon Lewis and figuring out her feelings for her long lost brother, the magnetic and infuriating Jace Wayland.

So I've read the entire series so far and I liked the dialogue and the plot is promising. I was just creeped out by the forbidden love angle but I'm glad that Cassandra Clare straightened that out. Inbreeding and incest is no longer cool, so Medieval! I thought that this will just be a trilogy and frankly I hope that she kept it that way.

City of Fallen Angels is more Simon-centric, it tells the story of his transition from human to vampire and from a night crawler to a day walker. Everyone wants a piece of Simon, even the ladies too! It's his story more or less but we still get to read about Clary and Jace, their love story and the Downworlder/Shadowhunter scene post the events in City of Glass.

Since the big bang showdown already happened in the third book, the 4th volume is a little bit of a let down. I might be getting ahead of myself here as she is set to release two more books, City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire told in varying POV's from the characters in the series. So we'll get a glimpse of what thoughts are running in Clary's mind, sometimes Jace, Simon and even Alec.

I hope she's plotting something even more stupendous than the Angel summoning business. I wasn't really kept in constant excitement with City of Fallen Angels, on the other hand, maybe we're being taken on a monster roller-coaster ride. After a steep fall, she's just letting the excitement die down a bit only to be hurled in a loop-the-loop.

June 15, 2011

Team Were

Move over Jacob Black because Alcide Herveaux is in the house!!

Aside from the gorgeous women and Eric Northman's bare ass, Alcide Herveaux is the guy I'm dying to see on season 4. Seriously, how hot can a Were get? It's not enough that they're running a 100+ deg body temp but they have to visually smolder! One could just imagine what it would feel like lying next to this fine piece of meat.

'Nuff said

REVIEW: Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon

You had me with your comebacks, Sherrilyn Kenyon, you had me with your acid sarcasm.

So an update, Nick survived the living zombie attacks but now he finds himself in the company of Weres and demons. Death, or as he prefers to be called, Grim Reaper, showed up to help him awaken his powers. He now knows that different forces are trying or plotting to get him on their side because once he's awakened, he'll become a force to be reckoned with.

Sherrilyn Kenyon further emphasizes Nick's humanity, his faithfulness to his mom and friends, his desire for a better life and using his newly discovered talents for the greater good. Nick Gautier still has a conscience.

I still encourage you to start reading the series although the next one doesn't come out til late 2012. The Chronicles of Nick sounds promising and I will definitely follow his adventures. I just hope that whoever Muse is currently inspiring Ms. Kenyon will continue to do so. I lover her style of writing, I imagine she's been around a lot of smart-mouthed-quick-witted individuals and probably she's one herself. I would hate to be caught in an argument with her, burn will be an understatement.

Anyway, Nick Gautier is a hero to watch out for. I'm curious to find out how his choice will be laid out to him. How the forces of Good and Evil will create situations that will force his hand to choose a side. And how his reunion with his father will be like.

June 14, 2011

REVIEW: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Series: Chronicles of Nick #1
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: May 2010
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?

New Orleans, known for it's rich history, good Cajun food and eccentric population. Many supe themed books have been set in this town. Anne Rice immortalized it in her novels which made a lot of us want to stroll around Garden District and pretend that Vampires and Witches will make an appearance on on of those houses lining up the street.

This series is not exactly as romantic as that, it's rough and very juvenile. What I'm trying to say is Nick Gautier is as sarcastic as quicklime! After a couple of chapters you might find yourself trying to emulate Nick's quick wit (fail!) but honestly, I don't think a lot of people can get away with with that much sarcasm, unless you're cleaning up your Facebook friend list and want them to drop like flies.

In the first book, Infinity, you'll be introduced to Nick and his world. Nick Gautier is a 14yo boy raised by his stripper mom who got preggers when she was still in her teens. His dad is an evil (like literally) con who's in jail to feed off on his fellow convicts' negative energies. Nick is beloved by his mom and their devotion to each other will definitely pull on your heartstrings (sob!). Nick has this latent, powerful evil force in him that is just waiting to be unleashed. With a drastic turn of events he finds himself surrounded by demons, teen demon-hunters, weres, supernatural dorks and zombies...

Yes zombies. But it's not like your Night of the Living Dead Zombie, the zombies are actually alive so it's more like mind control-hypnosis type. But don't return the book on the shelf yet! I'm not a zombie fan myself but what happens is just ridiculously funny I finished the book in 4 hours. I'm not a speed reader so this is an actual feat for me. I was very entertained by Sherrilyn Kenyon's storytelling that I find myself LOL-ing at most of the lines. I'm sarcastic myself so I can appreciate the humor, filing away some of the lines for future use. The characters are pretty eccentric as well, my favorites are Bubba (MIT alum, certified Mensa genius) and Mark (super dorky supe hunter) which reminds me of Ash and Burger Pitt of Disney's I'm in the band. Anyways, they're your next-door borderline loonies who are firm believers that other beings exists that they even hold seminars on how to vanquish them!

Oh and have I mentioned Kyrian Hunter? Well he's in the book too so for all you Dark Hunter fans out there he's making a special appearance on this series (I haven't read Dark Hunters yet but after meeting Mr. Hunter, it certainly piqued my interest. I like my leading men dark, strong and mysteriously brooding. Paging Jericho Barrons!). So Kyrian is Nick's savior/mentor/employer and he wants Nick to be his Squire. He also offered the mother-son team some financial reprieve so that will definitely cut Nick and his mom's trips to Goodwill, eating expired meat, powdered eggs and other extreme penny pinching practices.

I enjoyed Inifinity immensely. I'm reading Invincible right now and so far so good, I'll give you an update once I'm done. Happy hunting!

June 12, 2011

Welcome to Talk Supe!

Welcome to our blog!

Allow me to say something about us before we start socializing and initiate discussions about pieces of supernatural literature floating around us, permeating our gullible minds with things, places and beings that other people created for our reading and and sometimes viewing pleasure (film adaptations).

First of all, we are just consummate readers period. In the course of this blog, we will offer nothing more than our opinions as any normal reader would. We are NOT editors, book critics nor equipped with fancy titles in literature or creative writing (well not yet anyway :D). Throughout the course of this blog, there might be differences of opinions or errors in judgement but we hope it won't get nasty and we'll just move along agreeing to disagree and proceed to having fantastic discussions.

We are just a couple of bookworms who avidly support the "dying" art of print and it just so happen that we developed a fondness for the Supernatural Genre. We find it very stimulating, definitely entertaining and a very good distraction to whatever mundane irritations are happening to us in real life. There will be times where we might persuade you to get up and go to the nearest library or bookstore to get a copy of an old/new piece of work that we find will be worth your while.

So we look forward to having certain degrees of conversations with you. Here's to the wonderful world of Vampires, Weres, Fae, Sorcery and everything else in between. Cheers!