Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Reapers are the Angels - Alden Bell

A Spoiler Free Bit About The Book ( A Little Bit of Blurb)

"Older than her years and completely alone, Temple is just trying to live one day at a time in a post-apocalyptic world, where the undead roam endlessly, and the remnant of mankind who have survived, at times, seem to retain little humanity themselves."

My Review

This book is covered in amazing reviews on the inside pages and I read every single one of them.  Instead of making me want to pick the book up and see what all the fuss was about, it actually made me nervous about reading it because I couldn't imagine it could ever live up to its reviews.

I was wrong.  This book was beautiful, articulate, sophisticated, poignant, sad, wonderful and haunting.

I was pulled in by the first paragraph, it was excellent.  So excellent I want to share it.  

"God is a slick god.  Temple knows.  She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe."

The style was very heavy, long sentences and long words flowing together so beautifully it was hard to get my head round it.  I think this was because the last book I read was written so simply that it made it very difficult for me to get into.  But once I was in, I was completely immersed.

The Reapers are the Angels is written in the third person, which allows the beautiful articulate flow of narrative while Temple, our protagonist can't read or write and often speaks very poorly.  This contrasted in the most gorgeous way to the narrative and made it even more beautiful and sophisticated.  The words flowed together as though taking a single one out would disrupt the rhythm.  As I read, I was enchanted by it.

The description was something to behold.  Every notion made me think.  Through Temple, The Reapers are the Angels muses about life, death, good and evil without the reader even noticing. 

I adored Temple as the protagonist because she was strong, independent and unashamed.  She was so convinced of her own evil that her only agenda at the start of the novel is to survive.  As the novel continues and she meets different people, the struggle within her is obvious as she wants to undo all the wrongs in her past although she doesn't believe that anything can reverse her evil.  When the truth about her past it fed to us, little bit by little bit, we feel for her as we wouldn't have done if given the truth at the beginning of the novel.

The ending was haunting and I still can't stop thinking about it days later.  It was just incredible.  And I can't believe it, but it lived up to its reviews.


Plot - 9/10 - post-apocalyptic journey, gotta love 'em

Way Plot Was Pursued - 9/10 - standard

Characters - 8/10 - Temple I adored and a few others but I felt I wanted a little more time with each character

Style - 10/10 - I can't praise the beauty of this novel enough

Pace - 9/10 - great, but I felt it started a little slow

Would I recommend it? Yes, I have nothing bad to say about this novel

Would I look up the author?  Yes, I need to see what else Alden Bell's written for sure!

The Reapers are the Angels was crafted and shaped like the most delicate piece of jewellery or the most beautiful song.

Molly Looby
Author / Editor / Ghostwriter / Blogger / Reviewer / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Some Films are Greater Than Other Films . . .

And this one about tops them all.

What you want to know is whether this film ruined the book - Twilight - did it justice but only just and there were plenty of things wrong with it - Harry Potter - was satisfying and you can live with it - Divergent - or completely perfect to watch as a huge fan - The Hunger Games.

All I'm thinking about now is whether you agree with my analysis of the films listed above, but I digress.

Before I get into this I don't pretend to be a movie expert.  I don't know what makes a film good or bad.  My knowledge is pretty much whether the acting was good or not, whether the plot was good or not (or made sense) and I'm pretty sharp on my dialogue thanks to reading all day.

Well The Fault in Our Stars film had terrific acting.  It was outstanding especially Laura Dern as Hazel's mother and Ansel Elgort as Augustus Waters.  He was my perfect Gus I am telling you.  He played the part exactly as I needed it to be played.

And we don't need to talk about the plot or the dialogue because all that was covered by John  Green when writing TFIOS and it remained just as perfect as in the books.  Every time there was a direct quote I couldn't help the smile on my face.

There was also this cool detail that texts and emails would pop up onto the screen for the audience to read as Hazel does which made it more fun for the viewer and more realistic than Hazel just reading everything aloud.

Of course, what everyone is interested in is what they missed out of the film that was in the book and the more I think about it, the more I remember that wasn't included but while I was watching it, these things didn't really occur to me because I was so mesmerised by the film.  After thinking about it, the things they cut weren't vital to the plot just dustings of character here and there that a film can portray much quicker than a book can anyway so it was fine.  I didn't shout out that it was all wrong so that was good.

I don't want to give anything away because I think watching it for the first time is an experience like no other but what I will tell you is Oranjee is beautiful and the entire Amsterdam part made me want to go there myself.  And the film made me want to read the book over and over again, which was the exact feeling I had after finishing the book, so they must've done something right.

Now, you will cry, there is no doubt about it.  If you've read the book you will cry when you know something is coming up.  You may even cry at the very beginning because you can't believe you're living this.  It's very emotional.  It's spot on.  The perfect mix of light and heavy just like the book.  I cried in all the parts I cried at during the book, starting when I realised that part was coming up.  I even prepared myself, not wanting to disturb the entire room.  There was one occasion that I had to hold back my sobs and do that stupid quiet breathing not to explode and weep over Shailene and Ansel's lines and ruin it for the people (if there were any in the room) that hadn't read the book.  Because I was holding it back, I cried silently for most of the film.  But I assure you, if I had been at home, you would've thought I was losing it.

All in all, I adored the film, start to finish and could watch it again and again and again.  I just have one more thing to say before you should go and book your tickets (and stock up on tissues). 

If John Green thinks it's perfect, who am I to say otherwise?

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

0.4 - Mike Lancaster

A Spoiler Free Bit About The Book


The Kyle Straker tapes have caused much controversy, are they a true account of a past world or are they just a hoax?

My Review

0.4 had a brilliant opening from the editor, who is really the author, Mike Lancaster.  The tapes are history and our author has simply written them up as prose.  This was an excellent approach that made me dive straight into the novel.

The terrible air of foreboding throughout the novel made me keep on reading.  I needed to know what had happened to the world because the world as Kyle was telling it was our world, so what had happened since?  I could hardly put it down.  The short chapters also added to this.  I read the entire thing in two days I believe.  I just couldn't stop reading it.  It was a very quick and engaging read.

The little notes all the way through explaining what reality TV and such like were to the reader, gave me a great impression of what the 'future' was like, even though the future is never talked about directly.  It was very clever.

0.4 made me think and wonder.  I have never read anything quite like this before.  It was a Sci-Fi I could get into as it wasn't too heavy and it was set in our own universe.  I know this review it short and a little lacking but what else can I say?  I really enjoyed this book!


Plot - 7/10 - kept me guessing

Way Plot Was Pursued - 10/10 - I've never read a book where the entire thing is a tape recording

Characters - 6/10 - they weren't anything special

Style - 10/10 - Kyle with his honest voice was the perfect narrator

Pace - 9/10 - almost too quick

Would I recommend it? - Yes, especially if you don't usually like Sci-Fi novels but want to give one a go.

Would I look up the author? - No, I loved 0.4 but it hasn't motivated me to look up Mike Lancaster.

Molly Looby
Author / Editor / Ghostwriter / Blogger / Reviewer / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Brilliant Week Featuring The #MovellasMeetUp

Last week I had a very interesting week.  Interesting enough that I can write a whole post about it!

First of of all on Wednesday, I was offered the ghostwriting position I'd been interviewed for!  This really kicked off the awesome week I had.  I had finally been noticed as a writer, as a good writer and now I have a freelance position to prove it.  I am, at long last, being paid to do what I love.  It may not be writing my own books, but this is almost as fun because it's writing without any of the writers' block!  I am so thrilled.  I really can't get that across in a blog post but I am.  I am so happy.  Things are looking up for my writing career.  I told you 2014 was going to be good.

Then on Thursday I found myself in London near the old Movellas headquarters to have coffee with an agent I've been emailing and sending work for . . . I don't know, well over a year that's for sure.  He recognised my interest in the publishing industry and wanted to tell me about being an agent and explain the publishing industry from his perspective.  It was a very interesting conversation though I mainly listened.  It was very eye opening and I walked away with a copy of The Bookseller, The Author (Journal of the Society of Authors) and From Pitch to Publication by Carole Blake so I was more than happy.

The next day I found myself in London again.  My incredibly talented arty boyfriend took me to the Tate Modern, amazed that I'd never been to an art gallery before.  I mostly walked around making incredibly unsophisticated comments, having no idea what I was looking at, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

There we are outside the Globe.  I'd never seen that before either!

After the Tate Modern, we made our way to Soho for the Movellas Meet Up.  Unfortunately, my internet service disappeared and we had no way of knowing how to get there.  I had to phone my dad who had to instruct us over the phone.  I don't know how, but we got there.

I had a great chat with the lovely Eva and Yvonne and I also met Joe for the first time.  The new Soho office was beautiful and in an amazing location.  There was so much going on just outside the windows, the hustle and bustle of London never stops.

I got to see some of the users in real life which was bizarre.  The best part, of course, was the table filled with books!  We each got to take a Movellas tote bag and whatever books took our fancy.  Of course, almost all of them took my fancy.

Everyone else seemed to take maybe three or four but I had no shame filling my bag all the way to the top.  I couldn't be happier with my spoils!

I can't wait to read them all!  Although it might take me a long time to get round to it.  My bookshelf is getting pretty full, as my #Shelfie for Movellas showed everyone!

 I also can't wait for all the cool new stuff Movellas is going to be up to.  Or putting my new agent knowledge to use when I next send a submission out.  Or my new job as a freelance ghostwriter!

What a week!

Molly Looby
Author / Ghostwriter / Blogger / Reviewer / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready