Open Letters: Bathsheba Everdene

Monday, December 4, 2017

Ms. Everdene,

I am writing this letter to you today in a state of confusion. Initially, I was enamored by independence, self-sufficiency, and confidence. I was amazed because you were seemingly unfazed by the horde of men expressing their admiration and deep affection for you. When Gabriel Oak promised to take care of and love you if you agreed to marry him, you refused him, not unkindly. You cited the fact that you did not feel that getting married to him would be justified. That is to say, he did not have much to offer you to warrant a marriage, your opinion.

After inheriting your deceased uncle's farm, you caught the attention of Mr. Boldwood. William was rich, handsome, and granted, he was an older man, but he was well-situated and an overall good candidate. It would have been a fortuitous marriage. Expectedly, you declined his proposal of marriage as well. To me, you were the epitome of female autonomy and strength. However, everything changed when Sergeant Francis Troy, a somewhat charming soldier strangely drew your interest. You ought to have known that Francis or "Frank" was bad news from the start. You give off an air of being a fine judge of character and overly heedful of the consequences of poor decisions, and yet, to my great surprise, you were captivated by Troy. Of the three suitors, Troy was the least agreeable. You claimed that you married him after he told you he was heartbroken over a woman more beautiful than you and that somewhere between "distraction and jealousy" you grew infatuated with him. Still, I will never understand why his little display of good swordsmanship was reason enough to marry him when Gabriel's kindness and selflessness were not, regardless of the fact that you ultimately ended up with Gabriel.


Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

Saturday, December 2, 2017

2 out of 5 stars

This book had been on my to-read list since I joined Goodreads back in 2012 (this review was published December 2017) Right off the bat, I was dubious of the promise of love for Angelfall. The book is written in present-tense, which is very tricky to pull off and very rarely done right, at least in my experience. As you probably tell by my uncharacteristically low rating, I deem that the present-tense narration and dialogue to be poorly executed

The plot and characters didn't really make up for the atrocious writing. Penryn, the main character, was difficult to love. Her personality didn't stand out much and she didn't have many redeeming qualities. Her determination to rescue her sister from a couple of angel-warrior thugs was admirable, but the character overall, was not special in any way. There are a staggering number of positive reviews for this book on Goodreads, and while I obviously know that perspective vary, I was truly surprised by just how many people genuinely enjoyed the book. It's beyond me. The story had much potential, but because of the dismal character development, writing, and, frankly, substandard world-building━I didn't really like Angelfall and I'm sure I'll continue on with reading the rest of the series (is it a trilogy? I think it's a trilogy). 

Monthly Wrap-up: November 2017

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November was a month of firsts for me. I had my first real emotional breakdown over an exam. I filled my gas tank manually, for the first time. And for the first time, I feel both optimistic and apprehensive about the future.
City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare (currently reading)
The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride (also currently reading)

Since finishing Reign and Downton Abbey last month and the month before, I haven't committed to any new shows or shows I haven't watched before. Season two of Good Behavior premiered in October and I have been watching the new episodes, but it's not really worth featuring considering it was the star of the "what i've been watching" section in a monthly wrap-up post two or three moons past. So, for this month I decided to feature two movies I really enjoyed watching this month. Yes, I only now watched The Force Awakens for the first time, same goes for Far from the Madding Crowd. You'd think that because I'm such an ardent fan of both high fantasy and historical dramas, that I'd have seen one or both of these before this month. But, I haven't. So that I'm not completely shunned by the Star Wars community, I feel that I have to defend myself and say that I have watched the Star Wars prequels and loved them! I cannot wait for The Last Jedi, which hits theaters Dec, 15th. As for Far from the Madding Crowd, it was a beautiful film and Carey Mulligan could quite possibly be my current favorite actress. I'm in the process of typing up an open letter to Bathsheba Everdene, Mulligan's character and I have a lot to say to her, so be on the lookout for that.

Cover Reveal + Theories: Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Because the cover for Queen of Air and Darkness was revealed days ago, this post won't serve as a cover reveal as it much as it would a discussion of the cover. Here's the cover:

Now, let us begin the discussion. It was made clear by Cassie that the red dress-clad female on the cover is Annabel Blackthorn. Fans have inquired after the fact that there aren't any visible runes on Annabel's skin, Cassie stated that this was intentional (of course) we'll find out why soon enough. In the background towards the middle and bottom of the cover, the buildings and roads are notably destroyed and Annabel takes up a large fraction of the cover.

If you have not yet read Lord of Shadows, the second book in The Dark Artifices trilogy and don't want to spoil the contents of it for yourself, then I urge you not to continue because there will be spoilers ahead! Here are a few predictions I made after reading Lord of Shadows:

1. The Cohort will take over Clave leadership, if temporarily. This is something I was absolutely certain of after reading the Clave meeting scene. Now, when I say take over the Clave, I don't mean that they'll overthrow Jia Penhallow, the current Consul. But I do believe they will take over the Inquisitorship, at the very least. They've because a big enough threat and have enough influence in the Clave to be able to do so. In the Cohort's mind, the events that played out during the meeting prove exactly what they have been warning the Clave about for however long they've been preaching their beliefs.

2. Ash is the offspring of Sebastian Morgenstern and the Seelie Queen. There have been multiple hints that Sebastian and the Seelie Queen have produced a child and the timing of Ash's introduction in the book is eerie would be eerie if it is revealed that he is not their son and admittedly, I will be disappointed. We need to know the spawn of, arguably, the two worst characters in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. At one point in the book, Dru peeks into Jamie's (Diego's brother and Christina's best friend) bag and finds a crown or something, touches it and is temporarily transported to what seemed to be Faerie.

3. We will witness another major character's death. Yup, you read right. Some of you might be thinking, "Duh, of course there'll be another major death in Queen of Air and Darkness! This is a Cassandra Clare book, it's not a series written by some reader-emotion-conscious author!" Others might not agree with me, because you might believe that Cassie had her fill of killing off her major players. To the latter group I would say, don't put it past Cassie to abuse her writer power! I don't think it'll be any of the Blackthorn children (Mark and Helen not considered), because that would be callous━but it'll be someone close to our hearts. Mark my words!

4. Cortana will be the object of fascination for many. Honestly, I don't know how Emma managed to keep Cortana all this time. Pre-LOS, I was fairly certain that someone was going to realize Cortana's basilisk fang-like abilities and fight Emma over it. Given the Cohort's penchant for thinking that they own everything, I think they'll be an issue when it comes to Cortana, among other things.

I'll reread Lord of Shadows in the coming months and undoubtedly moot a few more theories, but for the moment, this is all I have (possibly because I read LOS a couple of months ago and my brain had elected to suppress all thoughts and memories associated with the contents of the book). Look out for the next Dark Artifices-related post in the future!

Recommendations: If You Like This...Then Read This...

Friday, November 24, 2017

If you loved the Harry Potter books (Sorcerer's Stone through Deathly Hallows) then read the Cursed Child. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but people who love the first seven books were apprehensive and didn't want to take a chance in reading Cursed Child lest it disappoint them. I was one of those people. If you read the book without any hesitation, then kudos to you, pal. However, if you haven't read the Cursed Child then I strongly suggest you read it!
Personally, the script-format of the book was strange at the beginning and constant shift between perspectives threw me off for a bit, but then I grew accustomed to it. The best part of the book is Albus and Scorpio's friendship. Albus is Harry's son and Scorpio is Draco's. What's really interesting is that Albus is the reckless one while Scorpio is the level-headed and the tamer of the two. I won't say any more for fear of spoiling it for you, but I highly recommend it!