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August 31, 2011

Review: Father Mine a BDB Novella by J.R. Ward

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood 6.5
Format: Digital
Release Date: October 7, 2008
Purchase Link: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Readers met and fell in love with Zsadist and Bella in J. R. Ward-s third New York Times bestselling novel in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Lover Awakened. As a former blood slave, Zsadist bore the scars from a past filled with suffering and degradation until Bella came along and helped heal his emotional wounds. Now, though, with the birth of their child, the demons of his past have been resurrected, called forth by the innocent eyes of his beloved daughter, Nalla. Unless Bella and Nalla can bring him back with their love, he may be lost to them forever.
Zsadist, in my opinion, has the most tragic but endearing tale not just amongst the Brothers but probably across all the males the urban fantasy genre. I cannot expound any further how much his story has touched me and how much I want to be Bella. Usually physical deformity is not something you'd welcome but in Z's case, it's sort of like a beauty mark. It's a reminder of his vulnerability and I think it just makes him even more interesting. We all know how Bella's love and devotion changed this socially awkward Brother from a scarred warrior to a loving hellren.
In this novella we follow the couple's travails as a new couple and parents to their adorable baby, Nalla.

The story opens with Z and Doc Jane, the latter under the guise of catching up when in fact she's concerned about Z and Bella's welfare, aware that the couple is going through some rough patches. Apparently our beloved scarred warrior is having a hard time grappling fatherhood. His past is still after him and continues to threaten his relationship not just with Bella but with Nalla as well.

Since Bella gave birth Z still haven't officially met their daughter. In his mind he still feels unworthy of them, thinking how he'll explain to Nalla his tats, imagining her coming out party and their father and daughter dance, his slave marks marring his handsome profile.

Bella on her part thinks that Z doesn't find her attractive anymore and can't put her finger on what's bothering him. She misses him and his touch but she's aware that things have changed and her priority is Nalla. So she calls Rehv and tells him that she's leaving Z. Although Rhev is reluctant and doesn't want to meddle with their affairs, his loyalty is still to his sister and lends her one of his houses.

Meanwhile Z is out hunting lessers when he got injured and almost died when he realized that he has a lot of things to live for, Bella and Nalla's images playing a nice slideshow in his head. He decided to text Bella and tell her I'M SO SORRY. I LOVE YOU. PLEASE FORGIVE ME-CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT YOU.

Bella unaware of the situation texted him back saying I'M SORRY. I LOVE YOU, BUT SHE AND I HAVE TO GO. I'LL GIVE YOU THE ADDRESS WHEN WE'RE SETTLED IN TONIGHT.

Now we all know how deep the bond between a hellren and a shellan is so imagine Zsadist's heart breaking when he got this message. His physical pain pales in comparison to going home in an empty flat. Good thing Mary was around to update Bella.

Sure enough Bella stayed and waited for her man. This part confirmed that Wrath is indeed swoon worthy, he stayed with Bella while waiting for Zsadist to come in and gave her comfort. Seriously, J.R. Ward did well in creating Wrath, that man is noble to the last cell of his body. Beth is another lucky lady landing that man of worth!

So finally Z was wheeled in that's when the waterworks starts.

Zsadist, under the influence of painkillers, heartache and Bella and Nalla's desertion looming over his head, started talking about Bella's birth. Here we see how much Zsadist truly loves Bella and for such a strong and fierce warrior he was at a loss on how to ease Bella's pain. The contrast of strength and helplessness was so beautifully written. I was getting misty eyed on this part because I was so touched by Z, it's almost impossible for me to picture him as this crazy looking, humongous guy that exudes nothing but death. He's all mushy as a marshmallow when it comes to Bella. If only I could reach out through the page and hug him I would.

So the walls broke down and they started conversating about their marital woes. Eventually they kissed and made up. With Doc Jane's help they decided to check if Zsadist's slave marks can be lasered off. Unfortunately it didn't work and left Z disappointed. But it wasn't all bad, this helped the couple exorcise their demons from Bella's abduction and Zsadist finally decided to meet Nalla.

Oh my god! When Nalla held her daddy's finger and tugged at it was really magical. I can feel Zsadist's awe and pride in his daughter. This prodded Z to reach out to Mary again and worked with her, anticipating the time when Nalla will ask him about his scars, tattoos and past. With Mary's help and Bella's encouragement, Zsadist slowly worked out his issues, practice his responses until the day when Nalla is old enough to understand her father's past.

The story speaks for itself. Zsadist and Bella's love story is nothing short of magical. A love so pure and true only the two of them understand the extent of their devotion to each other and we are lucky to be witnesses to this unforgettable and extraordinary couple. Who would've thought Vampires have messed up problems like us humans right?

This is a good filler story for the series and a must-read for those of you following the Brothers. In behalf of your fans, we'd like to thank the Scribe Virgin herself, J.R. Ward, for indulging your fans and writing more about Zsadist.


Supernatural & Grimm TV

As Summer ends and True Blood's latest season draws to a close with only 2 episodes left, fans of the supernatural genre will have a fall break before another much anticipated show goes back on air.

Supernatural, the TV series with a loyal cult following returns for their seventh season on September 23. There was news of the show getting cancelled but I guess their fans clamored for more Dean and Sam, good thing we're spoiled and CW's TV Execs didn't disappoint.

From www.cwtv.com


Season seven finds Dean and Sam reeling from the loss of their friend. Sam's violent memories of Hell threaten to overtake him, threatening not just his life, but his brother's as well. Meanwhile, Dean struggles under the weight of a secret that threatens to tear them apart. And even as the brothers traverse the backroads of America, hunting things that go bump in the night, something is coming for them. They are about to face an enemy more canny and adaptable than any they've ever fought. As the landscape around them becomes increasingly treacherous, the tools they've come to rely upon will be stripped away. Our heroes, like so many outlaws before them, will find themselves utterly outmatched and outgunned, with no one to rely on but each other.



Meanwhile another supernatural/fairy-tale themed series, Grimm, is hitting the small screen starting October 21, Friday at 9pm, same time and slot as Supernatural. Produced by the people behind Buffy and Angel and Will & Grace's Sean Hayes.

David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt & Russel Hornsby as Hank Griffin
Grimm is a story about a detective, Nick Burkhardt, in Portland, Oregon, who after the death of his aunt learns that he's a descendant of a group of hunters named "Grimm" and he is the last of their kind. He discovers that all those scary creatures that he used to read growing up are walking amongst us and it is his mission to save us poor humans from falling prey to them.




Looks like my DVR will be busy on Friday nights.

August 30, 2011

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

summary here
Series: Blue Bloods 1
Format: Hardback
Release Date: April 25, 2006
Purchase Link: Amazon

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner...and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?
As the name of the series and the first book suggests, Blue Bloods is about Manhattan's Vampire royalty.

The backdrop is present day NY Upper East Side and we'll play voyeur to these Mayflower children with their lavish lifestyles, catty dispositions and drama-filled lives.

The heroine, Schuyler Van Alen, just recently found out that she's part of this elite group called the Blue Bloods. They were Fallen Angels cursed to live again and again as Vam-pyres. preying on human blood. Their transition begins around their 15th birthday and old memories slowly start to permeate their current ones easing them slowly to who and what they really are.

Of late, there is an alarming number of deaths in their community and the victims are drained of blood. This puts all of them in danger because the Committee and Wardens continue to cover up the murders and refuses to warn the younger Blue Bloods. Behind it all are the Silver Bloods, Lucifer's posse of Fallen Angels who are after their fellow Angels to make themselves practically invincible. Only Schuyler with the help of her grandmother Cordelia, can help them uncover the mystery behind the Silver Bloods and how to stop them.

The previous reviews that I've read didn't exaggerate when they said that the label dropping and the zealous flaunting of wealth is a little off putting at first. But they were also right in saying that once you get past that part you'll be intrigued by it all as well. I agree with the first observation because there were moments where it could've been foregone. We get it, these kids don't shop in Forever21 and even vintage for them doesn't equate to Goodwill or the Swap Meet.

BUT plot is interesting though there are a couple of YA cliche's like The Golden Boy, the Queen Bee and her court, The Rebel, The Sidekick, The Loyal Bestie and the inconspicuous Heroine. However the conflict is intricately woven I don't know where to start. But the points below are what whetted my appetite.
  • As reincarnated souls, Schuyler is a new one and she's an outsider because she's a half-human and her mother is more than who she appears to be.
  • The Golden Boy, Jack Force, is drawn to Schuyler because his soul remembers her mother and in the past I'm assuming that they've been intimate at one point.
  • The Queen Bee, Mimi Force and Jack's twin, has also been the latter's spouse on several of his previous incarnations so there's also a certain intimacy between them that is a little bit weird considering they're currently siblings.
By the end of the book I'm actually quite impressed by the story. De la Cruz set a lot of rules and I'm curious on how she'll keep everyone and everything inside the lines. On top of that her vampire myth is a combination of other things, not just Fallen Angels, but other myths as well. I guess the series got too much flack from all the branding mentioned but if you can at least finish the first book I guarantee that she'll make you pick up the next one, Masquerade.


August 28, 2011

Byzantium the Movie (A Vampire Story)

Neil Jordan
So Neil Jordan, the man behind Showtime's Italian Renaissance series, The Borgias, and several film adaptations namely Michael Collins, End of the Affair and the unforgettable Interview with the Vampire, is out doing another Vampire movie, Byzantium, based on Moira Buffini's play, A Vampire Story.

The play is about two "sisters" who arrive in a quaint British town claiming to be 200 year-old vampires. The play itself raises the question of who's story is being told, is it the older sister/mother or is it the younger sister Eleanor?

Moira Buffini
The nameless older sister claims that their mother died three years ago and she was left as guardian to her sister, Eleanor. She'd take odd jobs while her sister goes to school. Eleanor on the other hand negates this story and says that she is not her sister but her mother and they are 200yo vampires. Teachers, counselors and parents urged them both to sort out their story and get help. Soon people start disappearing and the town's people start thinking if there is a grain of truth to the story that these two strangers told.

As of latest news there's no release date yet for the movie but given Mr. Jordan's record I'm confident that he'll deliver. Another plus in this upcoming movie is Ms. Buffini will also be involved in the adaptation. So if you've seen or familiar with the play then rest assured that the things that you loved about it will be kept.

Casting on the other hand has been announced and I'm glad to say that I like the actors they picked.

Saoirise Ronan (Lovely Bones), Gemma Aterton (Prince of Persia; Clash of the Titans) and Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men).

August 27, 2011

Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

excerpt here
Series: League Series 1
Format: Paperback
Release Date: January 1, 2009
Purchase Link: Amazon

Awakened from a drugged sleep in a cold cell, the Princess Kiara finds herself a prisoner of the merciless marauders who threaten her father's planetary kingdom. Miraculously, a rescuer appears, but behind his fearsome mask is the handsome face of a dark avenger whose outlaw touch sets her very soul aflame.



Since I've sort of developed a certain loyalty for Sherrilyn Kenyon's work and a friend gave me this series as a gift, I thought that I should give it a go. Sherrilyn Kenyon knows her men and I've always been a fan of her witty dialogue.

Now this one is far from a typical Supernatural themed book, it's actually a science fiction series set in the distant future. Now I know that this is far from what you'd normally see being read and reviewed in this page but out of curiousity let's give it a look-see.

The League Series is an action-packed book, fast paced and though it's futuristic the jargon slides smoothly in the tongue. The dialogue is not as biting as her Dark-Hunter series but it's still smart and barbed.

Born of Night is like The Bodyguard (yeah the one with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner). Nykyrian is a member of The League and is the organization's best assassin, Kiara, the heroine, is a famous ballet dancer and a Princess to boot, whose life he needs to protect from those hired killers set to get her.

As assassins, these men are damaged which explains the various comparisons made with BDB's Zsadist although the Brother's story remains unmatched. Anyway the characters are interesting, I like Syn (whose story will be told in the next book Born of Fire) and Darling. Like her Dark-Hunters, these assassins are bred from the tragedies of life and were trained to be the best in their field.

I didn't really warm up to this book, I find Nykyrian's story a bit cliche, an abandoned child turned dark who ended up a Royal Prince himself. And Kiara, a Princess who's a walking target because of her father's political alliance and eventually because of her association with Nyk. Maybe it's just their love match and how their characters are made up that didn't appeal to me however this is the first book in the series and from my experience the story gets better as one goes along. But don't take my word for it, it's probably because I'm not really into the sci-fi genre with flying ships and all that, you might end up liking it.

What I like about Kenyon is that she sees this characters so clearly in her mind there's even a tab reserved for them in her page. Nykyrian looks like Val Kilmer and Kiara looks like a young Carla Guigino. For more info and pictures of Sherrilyn's Cast of Characters click here ---->http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/characters/


Claymore


Claymore is a 26 episode Anime series released in 2007. The first 24 episodes was based on this first 11 volumes of the Manga Series but the anime version used a different ending.

Claymore is actually the name of the organization that hunts Yoma or demons. Claymores are feared because they are part Yoma which would enable them to battle those beasts. They are a band of silver-eyed blonde females, they are feared by the human population because eventually their Yoma side would Awaken and they will become the thing that they fight.

The heroine is Clare, years ago she was taken into the custody of the number 1 fighter of the organization, Teresa. But after Teresa slaughtered a band of bandits to save Clare, she was marked for death by the organization because their #1 rule is to protect humans and to hurt them in any way much less kill them require the most severe punishment. Death. 

Teresa fell in the hands of a fellow Claymore, Priscilla, who Awakened at the end of the battle. This altered Clare's destiny and became a Claymore herself, hunting down Priscilla to exact vengeance for Teresa's death.

With Naruto being an exception, I'm not much into anime but this one was actually good and it's short, you can watch all episodes in Netflix on a lazy day. The story is figurative, fighting our inner demons to the best of our ability and doing what's right for the greater good.

Typical of an anime series, the characters are interesting and have super human abilities. I can't help but admire Japanese creativity and it's no wonder why they have such a loyal following and why some prefer their animation more than a live action movie or even their digital counterparts.

The series has an open ending although there's no news of the anime having another season. The Manga series is still ongoing.




FACTOID
Claymore is a anglicization of the Gaelic claidheamh mòr "great sword". It's a Scottish two-handed longsword with a long hilt that was used by guards during the 15th to 16th century.


August 26, 2011

WE ALL GOT THE FEVER!

FEVER!

That has been the predominant "ailment" in the Paranormal/Urban Fantasy World with Karen Marie Moning's Dreamworks deal buzzing incessantly in blogs, Twitter and Facebook pages worldwide. She released yet another big announcement that will surely cause some serious heart-fluttering amongst her loyal fans.


From KMM's Facebook page:

Because I keep getting this question, I’ve realized I've obviously not answered it to your satisfaction:)  I'm going to post here and ask that you all help me in spreading the word around.

I'm currently working on a trilogy that features Dani, Christian MacKeltar, Ryodan, and the mysterious 'Dancer,' set primarily in Fever-Dublin. Each installment in the trilogy is a stand-alone mystery, however there are larger plot arcs unfolding in the background.  Where Mac was introspective and her story could feel somewhat esoteric, Dani is down and dirty in the streets. Lots of details, lots of action. There’s a different feel to the two series, totally different vantage points. I’m having a blast writing it.

For those of you who have been worrying—the trilogy is not YA.  If I had to categorize it, I would say it straddles the line between YA and adult uneasily. I don’t pull any punches. It may be controversial in some ways.  But whose teen years weren’t? LOL! Many of the questions I left unanswered in the FEVER series are addressed in this new series.

Exciting news: I’ve agreed to write two more books after that. Once the new trilogy is complete, I’m returning to the core story begun in the FEVER series, and will resume writing about Mac, Barrons, V’lane, Cruce, the Unseelie king, the concubine, the Song of Making.

All in all, there are five more books coming about the Fever World!

Because I know you guys, I know this is going to make some of you as nervous as it makes you excited.  Trust me.  I’m making no compromises with the characters or the story. It’s all unfolding exactly as it should, true to itself-which means, it’s a sometimes rocky road.  Dark times ahead, guys. But I write it all with genuine love for the characters, the world, and you the reader.

As a final note, quit scaring Dreamworks with your demands for NC-17, LMAO.  I don’t write NC-17.  You have NC-17 imaginations! Sometimes I think you guys should be telling me stories!


So let's all gather in a prayer circle and thank the powers that be that Karen's Muse is riding her hard so she can continue the tale that we LOVE or in our case OBSESSED with. So for the the rest of you, us included, who is still caught up in the Un/Seelie ridden streets of Ireland with FEVER induced fantasies of Barrons and Mac (but mostly Barrons), fret no more! Karen is currently cooking up the antidote for our withdrawal symptoms.

KUDOS KMM! WE LOVE YOU AND WE'LL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT YOUR ENDEAVORS!

Talk Supe Casting Couch: Immortals Series

We reported the other day that Alyson Noel's Immortals Series will be immortalized in either the big or small screen. Although Ms. Noel said that she doesn't have anybody in mind to play the roles of her characters because she "sees them so clearly in her mind", and would "love to be part of the casting process".

No as you all know, we are very fond of doing Casting Couches but just to make everything clear, we are doing this just for FUN and like everyone's dream casts these are just the people we'd like to see play the roles of characters we like if not love. 

Now as per Alyson Noel, she'd prefers break-out or fresh actors to portray her characters but should they decide to go mainstream, here are a couple of suggestions.


Damen Auguste
 I'm obsessed with Ben Barnes lately and upon reading the Immortals Series I know he'd be perfect to play the role of Damen. Dark, sexy, enigmatic and certainly wordly after living for 600 years. Playing the hedonistic Dorian Gray really captured the essence of the old Damen minus the creepy painting of course.


Ever Bloom
Sara Paxton has come a long way from Clueless, although she plays the part of the airhead fashionista well, her gig in Last House on the Left said that there's more to her than eyelash batting and hair-flipping.


Drina Auguste
Rachel Lefevre is a good character actress. Her good looks alone can either intimidate or scare you. She is actually an effective villain and with her red hair and a pair of green contacts she's Drina in the flesh.


Roman
Alex Pettyfer as the rogue Immortal Roman. He's British so no need to fake the accent and from what I've heard he has the attitude to boot. So as Roman, Alex will just be playing himself.


Haven
Francia Raisa is a good teenage villain, I've seen her in a couple of episodes in ABC's The Secret Life of an American Teenager and she'll really get under your skin.

Miles
OK I took a dash of creative license here and picked Mark Indelicato as Miles. Giving this cast a little Latin flavor, afterall they're in California plus his gig in Ugly Betty is similar to Miles, the actor wannabe who is so fabulous High School is just too small of a stage to hold his talent.
 
Jude
Jude is a sexy surfer who happens to be Ever's other possible soul mate. Though William Moseley doesn't have dreadlocks he sure got that California sun and tan going on for him with those wavy locks.
So that's our latest Casting Couch edition. Let us know what you think.

August 25, 2011

The Liebster Blog Award


Thank you Offbeat Vagabond for nominating our very young blog for the Liebster Award. From what we've gathered it seems that someone, apparently Liebster, decided to give some recognition to the young and little blogs, those with less than 200 followers to be exact. We don't exactly know what this is but we'll just pass on some of the facts that we've gathered.

Some time (in the recent past), somewhere (rumor has it that it might be Germany), someone (I'm guessing he/she was named Liebster) decided to do something nice for a whole lot of bloggers and started the Liebster Blog Award.

It’s an award you receive, but it is also an award that you give.

Below are Talk Supe's nominations:


To those of you mentioned, here's are the next steps:

  • Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who nominated you
  • Select your own picks and let them know that they've been nominated
  • Copy and paste the award on your blog

So spread the love and pay it foward! 




P.S. We don't know if this award really exist but it's a good way to do some shameless promotion :D

Blue Bloods Series by Melissa de la Cruz

Blue Blood Series Overview here

I just discovered this series and from what I've gathered it's like Vampire Gossip Girl. It's set in Manhattan, New York and we'll get a sneak peek at these old blood, NY socialites with their designer clothes and alpha personalities.

Based on past reviews and the like, the theme is a hodge podge of legends, primarily Vampires. But in de la Cruz's world, they are Fallen Angels who are cursed to be continuously reincarnated and are apparently day walkers. Can't wait to read her myth!

Our heroine is Schuyler Van Alen who is a half-vampire half-human and we'll accompany her on this life altering journey.

Reading order is as follows:
  1. Blue Bloods
  2. Masquerades
  3. Revelations
  4. The Van Alen Legacy
  5. Misguided Angel
  6. Bloody Valentine
  7. Lost in Time (September 27, 2011)

compiled short stories
Keys to the Repository is a companion novel and was released after The Van Alen Legacy. It's a compilation of short stories about some of the characters in the novel.

While Bloody Valentine is another compilation of short love stories about the main characters.

Lost in Time, the sixth book is to be release next month, September 27, 2011 and the seventh and final book of the series is scheduled for release Fall 2012.

If you're a bit on the fence about this one, you might want to start with her short stories to see if you like her style or not. These books have no bearing on the series and has no effect on the reading order. 

A Were series after this vampire one is next and it's a spin off of the fifth novel, Misguided Angel, titled Wolf Pact. The first book on this series will be released next year as well.


Melissa de la Cruz
When I stumbled upon this book I was very curious about the plot but also because of the author, Melissa de la Cruz. I'm curious about her writing style and at the same time I'd like to support a fellow Filipina's endeavor. She has written other novels as well like the Au Pair Series, The Ashleys and other stand-alone YA novels (click on her name for more info).


Everlasting by Alyson Noel

excerpt here
Doesn't she look like Diana Agron?
Series: The Immortals 6
Format: Hardback
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Purchase Link: Barnes & Noble

Everlasting is the sixth and final installment of the epic love story that has enchanted readers across the world. Ever and Damen have spent centuries facing down bitter rivals, jealous friends and their own worst fears-all in the hope of being together forever. Now in Everlasting, their destiny is finally within reach.

Will they be united-or torn apart forever? Readers will finally discover the truth in this anxiously awaited conclusion!

As the end nears, their enemies vanquished, Sabine kicked her out and Jude resigned to Ever's choice of being with Damen and nobody and nothing is in the way of these lovers from being together.

But Roman's curse still hangs in the air and they have yet to find the antidote. In Night Star, an old lady was singing a prophetic song for Ever and of late the song continues to echo even in her subconscious asking for her to acknowledge it. Upon careful deliberation, she decides to go on a journey in Summerland that will finally give light to countless shadows that's been following her.

So Ever, Damen and even Jude goes through this regression type thing in Summerland. We go back to the very beginning with them, before they were Damen and Evangeline. This part felt very surreal to me though from the flow of things, it's no surprise that they will do this.

This book took a spiritual turn with all the mentions of Karmic Debts, chakras, healing crystals etc, I felt like I was having a crash course on Karma and Reincarnation. The tone is very mystical and though the first half is a little bit jarring because I feel like Alyson Noel turned the book into a long parable of sorts. Sure these were mentioned in the previous novels but in this last book, it feels like a New Thought/Metaphysics textbook. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against it and I'm a believer in some ways but the data given was too heavy handed in my opinion. And if the reader isn't much into that then it might alter their feelings and opinion about the entire series.

In summary, the entire series is under rated. Ever is a strong heroine but I think what turned people off was the excessive focus on the spiritual plane. That can be a mouthful if you're not really into that. As for the story, I think this is Ever's journey first before it's a love story. I like that Ever has her own mind, though I'd like to leap in the pages and whack her stubborn head sometimes but at the same time she owns her actions and doesn't run away from being held accountable for it. I just wish Damen would've been a stronger character, he was just like Ever's guardian throughout the whole thing and just faded into the background and went into Zen mode after Roman poisoned him.

Alyson Noel captured the mind set of a typical teenager, they can be whiney, irrational, stubborn and certainly self-centered and you'll see a lot of that here. What's different is that she injects some moral lessons in the story. Her theme about Karma may be radical for some but if you look at it in another way it's just all about getting what you give. All the characters are interesting and each has something to contribute to the whole thing. Aside from the spiritual jargons, I liked how the story ended. There is closure on all sides and everything went the way they're supposed to.




August 24, 2011

Night Star by Alyson Noel

excerpt here 
Series: The Immortals
Format: Hardback
Release Date: November 16, 2010
Purchase Link: Amazon

Haven still blames Ever for the death of her boyfriend Roman, no matter how hard Ever’s tried to convince her it was an accident. Now she’s determined to take Ever down...and destroy Damen and Jude along the way. Her first step is to tear Ever and Damen apart — and she has just the ammunition to do it.

Hidden in one of Ever’s past lives is a terrible secret about Damen — a secret that illuminates new facts about her relationship with Jude, but that’s so dark and brutal it might be enough to drive her and Damen apart once and for all. As Ever faces her greatest fears about the guy she wants to spend eternity with, she’s thrust into a deadly clash with Haven that could destroy them all.

Now it’ll take everything she’s got — and bring out powers she never knew she had — to face down her most formidable enemy. But in order to win, she must first ask herself: Is her own survival worth dooming Haven to an eternity of darkness in the Shadowland? And will learning the truth about Damen’s past hold the key to their future?

Haven has turned out for the worst after Roman's death, proving to be an enemy more lethal than Drina, filled with hate and lusting for revenge against Ever. Haven is so drunk on her powers that she's becoming irrational and unpredictable, ultimately alienating her remaining true friend in Miles.

This is another test for Ever, because of this experience she discovers her limits and the things she's willing to do for friendship and for love. Even after multiple attempts on her life done by Haven even threatening those who are powerless against her, Ever still tread on with the hopes of saving Haven from herself. But it appears as if Haven is beyond saving, stooping so low as attacking Jude and Miles just to exact vengeance on her former bestfriend.

As we draw to a close, a couple of loose ends are being slowly tied by Alyson Noel. The villains are all gone except for that enigmatic warning or prophecy at the end which makes me wonder what their next hurdle is.

I'm glad that Ever ditched her good girl image in this one and decided to fight with Haven. Though there were times where I was so mad at Haven I was wishing that they should just get it over with and fight it til the end. Or at least give that girl a lashing and butt whooping she certainly deserves. Talk about your typical insecure, self-centered and "victimized" teen, that's Haven for you.

On the other hand I would like to give Ever her own deserved tongue lashing and ass whooping the way she's been treating her dear Aunt Sabine. I mean she's becoming such an ingrate! I know she wants to protect her and keep her out of it but seriously how hard is it to go through the motions of normalcy? At seventeen, she doesn't have to wait long before she can move out of Sabine's house and be on her own. After all she has an ETERNITY to spend with Damen. Or at least make a convincing lie for appearance's sake.

My other consolation is at least Damen is being a little assertive in this one. 'Bout time.

Anyway, I've been surprisingly taken by this series. It has it's hits and misses but overall it's entertaining enough. If one reads beyond the talk about Karma, reincarnation, and other cosmic stuff, you'll actually see that Ever's life is an example, though a well-contrived fictional one, of a moral story. It shows us the "ripple effect" and even if some scenes and conversations in the book are very teen therefore irritating for a non-teen like me, it has its merits and in a way Alyson Noel is sharing with us her values and her take on losing people you love, trust and friendship.




August 23, 2011

Dark Flame by Alyson Noel

excerpt here
Series: The Immortals
Format: Hardback
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Purchase Link: Amazon

Ever is trying to help Haven make the transition into life as an immortal. But with Haven drunk on her new powers and acting recklessly, she poses the ultimate threat — exposing their secret world to the outside. But Ever's struggle to keep the Immortals hidden only propels Haven closer to the enemy: Roman and his evil companions.

At the same time, Ever delves deeper into dark magick to free Damen from Roman’s power. But when her spell backfires, it binds her to the one guy who’s hell-bent on her destruction. Now there’s a strange, foreign pulse coursing through her, and no matter what she does, she can’t stop thinking about Roman — and longing for his touch. As she struggles to resist the fiery attraction threatening to consume her, Roman is more than willing to take advantage of her weakened state...and Ever edges closer and closer to surrender.

Frantic to break the spell before its too late, Ever turns to Jude for help, risking everything she knows and loves to save herself — and her future with Damen.

Haven is now an immortal and she is proving to be a tough neophyte to induct into the world of Immortals. Instead of heeding to Ever and Damen's guidance she instead treats Ever as competition. Heady on her newfound immortality, Haven continues to provoke Ever and Damen and refuses to Ever's warnings about Roman.

Meanwhile, Ever is still in search for the antidote to Roman's poison. Once more she dabbles with magick but again it backfires. Instead of releasing her from the bond with Roman, it made it stronger. Now she years for Roman causing yet another strain in her relationship with Haven, who is currently Roman's girlfriend.

This book is a very good example why one should NEVER dabble with something head on without a tinge of knowledge or research to support you. In Shadowland, I mentioned that Ever is royally fugged up, well I guess that's an understatement considering what she got herself into, and keeps on doing.

I'm annoyed with our heroine right now. I know her intentions are good but she just refuses to listen to good advise or at least consult with poeple who has more knowledge than she does. She is so blinded by her goal in getting that antidote from Roman that she alienates a lot of people including Damen.

Another frustrating angle is her so-called friendship with Haven. Now that one is gone for good. It's difficult to reason with someone who is very volatile and just recently lost a lot and at the same time be gifted with a certain degree of invicibility. Haven is very insecure with Ever and since the latter is not doing a very good job in explaining things to Haven, things are sure to hit the fan in a very nasty way. As this book ends, Haven just declared war on Ever because of Roman.

In Shadowland, I made mention of Damen lying low and just letting Ever run around like a chicken with her head off. Well it's something like that here too, it seems like he's making true of his word and is letting Ever make her own decisions, her own destiny. On the other hand since he obviously loves Ever more than anything, how come he's not actively looking for an antidote himself? Why is he letting Ever do all the footwork? The research? Alyson Noel, I hope Damen is not like Edward Cullen, please let this assumption be wrong and make him at least into a Jacob Black instead!

Now that Jude is in the picture and fully aware of his past lifetimes with Ever, 400 years of being usurped by Damen, he is now in it for the long haul. He is in it to fight for Ever and I'm curious to see how this love triangle will turn out. Since these characters are a little band of "metaphysicians" or disciples of "New Thought" one has to wonder if they will succumb to their cosmic karma and atone for their past mistakes or if they'll excercise their free will and make their own destiny.





The Immortals on Screen



There seems to be an influx of movie adaptations lately and Alyson Noel is not an exception. Ending her Immortals Series with the last and sixth book, Everlasting, fans are thrilled to know that Ever Bloom and the rest of her posse will soon come to life and have their debut in either the big or small screen. Even Riley's series is part of the deal.

Summit Entertainment, the same outfit that produced the Twilight Series, bought dramatic rights to all ten books by Alyson Noel, the Immortals and Riley Bloom Series.

Like Alyson Noel, I'm curious on what Summerland will look like. While reading the series, the movie Lovely Bones, the parts where Saoirise Ronan was in Heaven or the in-between place, comes to mind.

Wow, is there any chance that the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward will be next?


August 22, 2011

Sherrilyn Kenyon on Hollywood Hills

Before Karen Marie Moning announced her movie deal with Dreamworks, one of Talk Supe's favorite author, Sherrilyn Kenyon also announced her own Hollywood deal. We know we're kinda late in reporting this but what the heck, here's our take on this wonderful news!

Sherrilyn Kenyon with her
Simi & Acheron Dolls

Variety reports that:

Amber Entertainment has signed a partnership with prolific paranormal novelist Sherrilyn Kenyon to develop and produce films, television and webisodes based on her books.

First project to be developed is “Chronicles of Nick,” based on the young adult series. In the first book, “Infinity,” 14-year-old Nick Gautier discovers that the football team has been turned into zombies, sets out to stop the attacks and learns he has a key role in an unseen world.

Kenyon will serve as producer alongside Ileen Maisel, founding partner of Amber.

“As a longtime fan of the films that both Ileen Maisel and Mark Ordesky have produced, I couldn’t be more excited,” Kenyon said. “I look forward to working with them to make my characters flesh-and-blood people.”

Kenyon has penned more than 60 novels. Her “Dark-Hunter” vampire series has sold more than 22 million copies and been adapted into a manga published by St. Martins, while her Lords of Avalon novels have been adapted by Marvel comics.
 
I am thrilled that their first project is the Chronicles of Nick, not only is Nick Gaultier a very interesting character but if the screen adaptation will be anything like the books then it will be beyond entertaining. I can already see droves of teenagers screaming and giggling for Nick Gaultier and his fellow Dark-Hunters.
 
While Kenyon is no newbie on translating her series into another media, it's worth noting that she'll co-produce this project. I personally find it essential that the creator gets a say in things like these, that way the integrity of her work is maintained and will not be maimed by thugs in Hollywood. Adaptation is one tricky business because more often than not things get lost in translation because someone wants to piggy back on the writer's vision but decides to make changes because s/he thinks that it will look better that way. Well as a fan, don't add or delete things that will change the story, making it into something unrecognizable. I'm all for visual entertainment but it's also imperative that the integrity of the story be  maintained.

So there you go folks, one more series to follow in the small/big screen.

Wolf Gift and Serialized Books

 Anne Rice, author of the bestselling series Vampire Chronicles, Mayfair Witches and numerous stand-alone novels including Rameses the Damned, Servant of the Bones and The Feast of All Saints to name a few, has recently announced that she has ventured into the world of Weres.

In our previous piece, we posted her interview for MTV announcing her new novel Wolf Gift which is still waiting a release date as of the moment. The Queen of Vampires had an interview with Examiner and gave her fans more details about her upcoming and very much anticipated novel Wolf Gift and other plans of creating a serialized story. Below is a snippet on her interview from http://www.examiner.com/


Anne Rice
On Wolf Gift:
"The Wolf Gift" has just been accepted for publication and I think the publisher would schedule and announce the publication soon. Then I can make more information about it available to my readers. Right now I would like to say that I loved writing the book, loved working with a new supernatural hero, my Man Wolf, Reuben Golding, and loved working with a new cosmology and origin story for werewolves.
I immensely enjoyed her novels and her myth regarding the origin of her Vampires in Queen of the Damned was one of the best I've read if not The best so far. Well Ms. Rice wouldn't be dubbed Queen of Vampires for nothing.

She further states that she has plans of creating a serialized book available for tablet applications such as Kindle, Nook and for PC.

Claudia
"it would be exciting to develop the story in "episodes" and to have a website for reader feedback, and possibly for "fan art" as my readers loving doing paintings and drawings of the characters.

"The book we want to serialize concerns two teenagers who find themselves transformed into something not human by something of a mad but brilliant scientist.  They are launched on a journey to discover why the man did this to them, and how he obtained the power to work the transformation.  I don't want to say much more.  We hope to do episodes every two weeks, offered on kindle, Nook, iPad and computer.  And ultimately the full book would be published in paperback and possibly hardcover as well.  The fun of it revolves around its being a series.  It might have many many episodes."

I guess Ms. Rice is set to rule the world wide web as she seems no longer satisfied with fan interaction through Facebook and Twitter but plans on conquering the digital age with her writing as well. I feel that she's doing great service to readers all over the world by making her work more accessible and current.

Not only that, Anne Rice actually COMMUNICATES with her fans and even encourages their creativity and acknnowledge their comments, suggestions and thoughts. For a society that is so celebrity-ridden, it's very heartwarming that the person whose work you really admire remains grounded and still finds the time to reach out to her fans. I wish I can say the same thing for some authors out there who have not even reached a lick of Ms. Rice's success and yet act like divas.

Anyway, I am looking forward to Wolf Gift and this serialized story that Anne Rice is trying to develop. If it's anything like vintage Anne then most likely I'll be first in line to get a hold of her latest work.

For more updates you can visist her site at http://www.annerice.com/ or you can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.





Shadowland by Alyson Noel

Series: The Immortals 3
Format: Hardback
Release Date: November 17, 2009
Purchase Link: Amazon

Ever and Damen have traveled through countless past lives - and fought off the world's darkest enemies - so they could be together forever. But just when their long-awaited destiny is finally within reach, a powerful curse falls upon Damen...one that could destroy everything. Now a single touch of their hands or a soft brush of their lips could mean sudden death - plunging Damen into the Shadowland. Desperate to break the curse and save Damen, Ever immerses herself in magick - and gets help from an unexpected source - a surfer named Jude.

Although she and Jude have only just met, he feels startlingly familiar. Despite her fierce loyalty to Damen, Ever is drawn to Jude, a green-eyed golden boy with magical talents and a mysterious past. She's always believed Damen to be her soul mate and one true love - and she still believes it to be true. But as Damen pulls away to save them, Ever's connection with Jude grows stronger - and tests her love for Damen like never before.
After Ever fell for Roman's deciet in believing that Roman will let her off the hook that easily, she now finds that she and Damen are royally messed up. A mere touch or kiss or an accidental brush of their skin can cause Damen's death.

Damen on the other hand is having an introspection phase after his NDE (near death experience). He is feeling a lot of remorse towards himself and his hedonistic way of life in the past and how he feels he's interfering with Ever's life and past lives. He feels that he's being punished and decided to do some "cleansing" to the point where he told Ever he's willing to let her go and live her life the way she sees fit without him if necessary.

This is a transition book, a little calm before the big storm hits I think. Although it makes sense that Noel would focus on Ever and Damen a bit and have them deal with their issues after both of them nearly died for one reason or another. A lot has happened between them and a serious discussion has been long overdue.

I like how Ever sticks with Damen and how she is so stubbornly loyal to him even after he shows her that there is another man who is constantly in her life that gets bumped because he decided to be selfish and have Ever for himself. I don't understand why Damen is acting this way because it's a little too late to let Ever hang out to dry, people are already after her and there are constant threats made to her life. But at the same time I also understand why he's doing this, realizing that maybe it's because of his incessant manipulations that causes bad things to happen and he wants to rectify that in this lifetime.

I am not a fan of Damen in this book. His strength of character is slowly diminishing and he's starting to act like a pansy and I can't stand that. He's 600 years-old and he spent his formative years in times where men were considered the stronger sex. Sure he's living in modern times but like the saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks," I find it a bit inconsistent and hard to believe that Damen is just being so passive about all this especially now that Ever is an immortal and he's finally has his shot with her, it's only logical that he'd be more protective and possessive of Ever especially after the events that happened in Blue Moon.

As for Ever, I also find her a bit whiney in this book although that should be no surprise considering that she's still a teenager. Still she should have more sense than to dabble with magick when she doesn't even have a clue how it works. So of course things got messier after she unknowingly tapped dark magick which resulted to her being bound to Roman. Good job genius! LOL

I miss Riley's character but it's good that she's making an appearance or two so far, always being there to guide her big sister and asking others to help her. Who I don't like is Ever's frenemy Haven who is jealous of her but Ever is too naive to see through the guise of friendship. Anyway we'll read more of their relationship on Dark Flame. I'm also looking forward to how Ever and Jude's relationship will unfold. I don't want to give out any spoilers but suffice to say that Damen has some serious competition on this surfer dude.

What goes around comes around.

Shadowland book trailer





August 21, 2011

Blue Moon by Alyson Noel

read an excerpt here
Series: The Immortals 2
Format: Hardback
Release Date: July 7, 2009
Purchase Link: Amazon

Just as Ever is learning everything she can about her new abilities as an immortal, initiated into the dark, seductive world by her beloved Damen, something terrible is happening to him. As Ever's powers are increasing, Damen's begin to fade after he is stricken by a mysterious illness that threatens his memory, his identity, his life.

Desperate to save him, Ever travels to the mystical dimension of Summerland, where she uncovers not only the secrets of Damen's past - the brutal, tortured history he hoped to keep hidden - but also an ancient text revealing the workings of time. With the approaching blue moon heralding her only window for travel, Ever is forced to decide between turning back the clock and saving her family from the accident that claimed them - or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows weaker each day.

Following the events that happened in Evermore, Ever Bloom is now an Immortal just like Damen. And with his help, she is slowly honing her powers and even attempting to gain entrance to Summerland. But then a new guy, Roman, shows up and suddenly strange things started happening. Roman has the ouroboros tattoo, the one that marks Rogue Immortals but she can see his aura and sense his thoughts but Ever's gut is telling her that something doesn't quite add up. Then Damen starts to weaken until ultimately he betrays Ever and starts treating her like crap.

Remaining loyal to Damen and their love for each other, Ever decides to find out what's happening and discover that someone is poisoning Damen which explains his odd behavior towards her. Set on finding a cure, Ever takes a journey that poses the question on whether or not being with Damen is worth all the trouble and his eventual death or if they'll be better off apart.

Much like the Fallen Series, Ever and Damen are star-crossed lovers made to endure lifetimes of unrequited love only to find each other and relive their loss again and again. But unlike the other popular Lauren Kate series, this one is surprisingly good.

First of all, I like that Ever is not a helpless girl. She has her moments but she doesn't let anybody push her around, in fact she's the one doing the fighting and the saving so far. Next point is I understand Damen's hunger for Ever, imagine yourself deprived of the one you love, waiting hundreds of years for her latest incarnation only to be robbed of her company for one reason or the other, in this case Damen's ex-wife Drina who happens to be dead courtesy of Ever. I would totally learn from the past and ease my regrets by making the most of the time at hand to make up for everything that was lost.

I like the flashback parts where Damen shows Ever her past lives and how they met. We even get to glimpse how Damen became and Immortal and how he met and eventually married Drina. The latter is a bit painful for Ever to watch but it gives us an insight on Damen's character and why of things. I just had a sob moment when our heroine chose to relive that horrid car accident that killed her parents and Riley only to be counseled by her wise little sister that their death is their fate and there is something else waiting for Ever. This was Ever's way of paying her dues, thinking that if not for her thing would be different and she'd trade that life with Damen just to set things right.

I'll be honest, based on the mixed reviews I though I'd be disappointed by the series. I was even preparing to give it a 2 star review. Am I happy to be proved wrong! But at the same time I'm saddened that damsels in distress (Stupid Girl by Pink plays in the background) is more appealing and popular nowadays as compared to strong and smart females.

Well, Ms. Alyson Noel, I am one of those people who like your series. Thank you for giving your heroine such a pretty name, making Damen so sexy and for making Ever an intelligent fireball.