Movie Monday: Eragon

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering an adaptation of a book. It’s Eragon!

Plot Synopsis: Arya, elf princess of Ellesméra, flees with a strange stone, pursued by Durza, a dark sorcerer under king Galbatorix. When Durza corners Arya, she uses magic to send the stone away. Eragon, a farm boy living in the country of Alagaësia with his uncle, is hunting for food when he comes across the stone. Hoping to trade it for food, Eragon brings the stone home, and finds a blue dragon hatching from it. As he touches the dragon, a magical mark is burned into his palm.

Plot: If that sounds like a bad fantasy version of Star Wars, you are absolutely not wrong. This movie takes a book that was written by a teen and makes it into a movie. The fact that the book wasn’t that great to begin with doesn’t help this adaptation either. The biggest reason the Eragon series did well, was because it was written by a teen who had just started High School.

Characters: Eragon is a stereotypical hero, in fact he’s so stereotypical that I sort of pity Mr. Speeler’s for having to take the brunt of the criticism that was leveled at the film as he was the eponymous character. The rest of the cast wasn’t amazing either,

Cinematography: The effects weren’t terrible, but only barely. Frankly the movie didn’t have much going for it and the special effects are pretty much the only thing that kept it from being a complete and utter failure, but like I said just barely.

Overall: Stay far, far away from this adaptation of a book that is pretty bad as well. You’d thank me for the saved time you would have wasted if you watched it.

For those who like: Eragon, Terrible Adaptations.. Screw it, I’m not even going to bother trying to be nice.

Not for those who don’t like: Bad Movies, Bad Adaptations of a Book, Bad Books, Lackluster Plots, Mediocre Cinematography.

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Bookish Wednesday: Best of 2017

Hey all I’m back with a short post for this week’s Bookish Wednesday. It’s my Best of 2017!

Best Novel Overall: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. This should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this column frequently. I love Sanderson for his amazing works of fiction that are simply outstanding. Oathbringer is the third in the Stormlight Archives sub-series of the Cosmere mega-series, and covers so many amazing events that has huge impacts on the rest of the Cosmere potentially. So many interesting things happened in Oathbringer that when I was done with it a full week and half before it released for sale, thanks to Tor sending me a review copy, I was left with the realization that I had just made myself wait even longer than most people would have to wait for the next in the series. I’d call it a buzzkill to the emotional aftermath of finishing that book, but it wasn’t. I’m just excited to see what fellow 17th Shard members will dig up.

Best Debut Work: Morningwood, Book 01 in the Everybody Loves Large Chests series, by Neven Iliev. I mentioned it briefly in my post on this book, but I loved listening to this in audiobook form. Jeff Hays did an amazing job at narrating this book. I can’t wait for further entries in this series to come out in Audiobook format, so I can enjoy the various hijinks that will occur and the mayhem that follows.

That’s it for this week’s Bookish Wednesday.

Sensate Saturday: Fantasy is the Highest Form of Fiction

Hey all I’m back this week for Sensate Saturday with a quick essay on my feelings about Fantasy. Fantasy is the Highest Form of Fiction, in my opinion!

What do you mean highest form?: I mean that if Fantasy is done correctly it’s the best genre in all of fiction. It serves the purpose of literature to allow readers to experience things they otherwise couldn’t, and while many contemporary fiction books cover rare or hard to experience situations and events, they aren’t out of the reach of people, just costly or impractical, or illegal.

Why?: Well if Fantasy is done correctly than no other genre of fiction can really take you to completely alien worlds and cultures. I’ll point to any of Brandon Sanderson’s many Cosmere works as shining examples of what I’m talking about, and they are also my personal gold standard for judging any and all books. The Cosmere novels completely take you away to worlds that just don’t exist, and yet they make sense to us and we can easily relate to the characters. Not many authors can achieve the mastery of the genre as well as Sanderson, and the masterful way he comes up with complete worlds, with customs, cultures, religions, magic and many other things is truly spectacular. That isn’t even including his incredible pace for writing either.

Why isn’t (Insert other Genre here) as good as Fantasy?: Because if done correctly it’s still a world that is Earth, or a culture we can relate to because of it being distinctly “Terran”. That isn’t to say there aren’t masterworks in other genres, I’m not arrogant enough to believe that and I personally love many other books that just aren’t in the Fantasy genre. The Harry Bosch series is one of my favorite series of all time and yet it’s completely grounded in American culture. Connelly pulls off amazing mysteries, but they just aren’t as unique or otherworldly as stuff Brandon Sanderson writes.

This is all of course my opinion as is everything else I write and personally I’d love to read other’s thoughts on the matter. Do you agree or disagree with my claim that Fantasy is the Highest Form of Fiction? Leave your comments down below.

Bookish Wednesday: The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

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This week I’m covering a book I only recently listened to, and actually watched a movie adaptation of first, for this week’s Bookish Wednesday! It’s The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett!

Plot Synopsis: The main character is an incompetent and cynical wizard named Rincewind. He involuntarily becomes a guide to the rich but naive tourist from the Agatean Empire, Twoflower.

Plot: Yea it’s as ridiculous a plot hook as I’ve ever read, and it’s wonderful. I was constantly chuckling or smiling to myself while listening to the book and it was an absolute blast to listen to from beginning to end. I’ve rarely laughed so much from reading a Western literature book as I listening to the Colour of Magic.

Characters: Rincewind and Twoflower are wonderful, but The Luggage is probably my favorite main character in this book. I do however love Death as my favorite side character, as he’s an absolutely hilarious guy. That all being said the rest of the cast is hilarious too.

Overall: If you’ve never read this, you have to, this is a must read book for every single person, no one should not read this.

For those who like: Comedy, Action, Parodies, Fantasy, Magic, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Laughing, honestly you need to read this.

Book Series Wednesday: The Stormlight Archive Book 2 by Brandon Sanderson [Spoilers for Book 1]

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This week for Book Series Wednesday I’m talking about Words of Radiance, Book 2 of The Stormlight Archive, by Brandon Sanderson. Major Spoilers for Book 1, Way of Kings, after the jump.

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Book Series Wednesday: The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

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This week for Book Series Wednesday I’m finally covering the series that I loved for the longest time and was finally finished last year. It’s the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, and later finished by Brandon Sanderson.

Plot Synopsis: The Eye of the World revolves around protagonists Rand al’Thor, Matrim (Mat) Cauthon, Perrin Aybara, Egwene al’Vere, and Nynaeve al’Meara, after their residence of ‘Emond’s Field’ is unexpectedly attacked by Trollocs (the antagonist’s soldiers) and a Myrddraal (the undead-like officer commanding the Trollocs) intent on capturing Rand, Mat, and Perrin.

Plot: The series is really slow going for the first half of the first book, after that it speeds up a bit and becomes pretty amazing. However that being said there are numerous issues with this series, the biggest one I have is that the female cast as a whole are incredibly rude towards the males, and while I’m all for having kick ass female characters as main characters, the ones in the Wheel of Time almost universally are so rude to the males that it takes it to another level and ruins a good portion of the potential audiences enjoyment of the series. In fact out of the hundreds of female characters, I can only think of two that don’t participate in this near universal hatred of men in the series.  If you can get over that, and the slow pace of the first book and the middle of the series it’s quite a good series. Nothing like Brandon Sanderson’s work. Brandon Sanderson did take over for books twelve through fourteen after Robert Jordan died, it still feels very much like Jordan’s work and not Brandon Sanderson much to his credit. There are a few characters that show up in the end that have his touch though.

Characters: Of all the main characters I really enjoy Mat the best, as he is the scoundrel of the group. His time to shine comes in Book 3, but before that point he can be a bit of an ass. The rest of the cast is so huge that I really can’t talk about them without spoilers. They all are very different and it’s quite a good cast of characters.

Overall: If you can get over the slow pacing and the female characters being jerks to everyone, you might enjoy this series.

For those who like: Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Magic, Swords, Huge cast of characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or slow pacing during some books and the female cast almost universally being jerks to everyone else.