tl;dr: If you enjoy beautiful, slow burn fanfiction, read this immediately. But even if not, read the rest of the review to find out why you should fall in love with Casey McQuiston’s Red, White and Royal Blue.
My biggest impression of Star Trek: Discovery’s first season was that it felt like they were deciding what show they wanted to make as they went along. Pretty much every Star Trek show to follow the first one has had a problem with this very issue; in such a character-driven, concept-heavy format, you sometimes have to break your show in to know its weak points and its strengths. So I had a lot of optimism going into season 2 of the show. While season 1 wasn’t everything I hoped for, it was a starting point that could lead into something promising.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is…well, to be honest, I don’t know if it can be called bad. I have an inherent interest in the wizarding world, and the film rewarded my interest, allowing me to dive into magical 1927 Paris and the intrigues and magics and creatures of that domain. It was a very, very low bar for me to be entertained by this film, and the film hit it, because of course it did. I would actually even go so far to say that I enjoyed it better than the first one. The first one was slow-paced, with uninteresting action and almost no color; The Crimes of Grindelwald is stuffed to the gills, and the action is beautiful and colorful. In short, it has things that make it good. It clears the basic tests it needs to clear.
Sadly, the reason I’m mentioning all these good qualities first is because the film has a lot of problems. A lot of them. Most of it is more spoilery, which I’ll go into after the cut, but if you don’t want to be spoiled, you should know that this film is a lot more aware of the legacy this film has, to tie into the Harry Potter saga and explain how this era led to the next. There’s some really interesting ideas in this film, but, ultimately, they are buried under layers of confusion, presumably because Warner Brothers still has three more movies to fill with this drama. However, it feels less like stage-setting for interesting story than it does someone taking the story threads and knotting them into oblivion. Wherever the story is intended to go, this film does not do a great job of making clear, and you’re going to have a lot of questions that don’t feel like they should be questions at all.
Got that? Let’s discuss the spoilers. Spoilers past this point, guys.
After what seems like a literal year (and actually is probably close to it) of waiting, the first part of the Agent Carter Besame Cosmetics collection has shipped to eager audiences. I personally bought the mysteriously labelled “AC245” within ten minutes of knowing it existed, and after a long, anxious wait, it finally arrived at my front door!
So…what do we get after a year of waiting? Something great…that’s also kind of frustrating.
I have a lowkey love of all things with a vintage aesthetic. I don’t really have the budget or chutzpah to go full vintage, full time–though many women are these days, to the point that there’s a full blown vintage-aesthetic subculture. My Instagram timeline has a lot of perfectly-coiffed women in immaculate outfits, and I draw inspiration from women who can actually wear hells for my own budget-friendly clothing style. But I also pay attention to what they wear on their face, and there’s a brand that’s mentioned again and again: Besame Cosmetics.
(I’m going to go on a tangent about Star Trek. Bear with me.)
There’s been a complaint, recently, about the new Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery. Actually, there have been a lot of complaints, but one of the real head-scratchers has been that The Orville, the parody TV show created by Seth McFarlane, feels more “Star Trek” than Discovery. While Discovery is certainly a departure from the usual Trek formula, it seems…a bit much, to decide that the parody is the more “real” creation.
Andy Weir exploded onto the literary scene with The Martian, a book that had such huge crossover appeal that Matt Damon played its protagonist in the film version. Sci-fi and fantasy books that have crossover appeal are becoming less rare, but Weir’s grounded, tech-explanations-heavy, roller coaster ride is unique–it’s one of those books that’s uniquely perfect in execution. It contains within itself a perfect beginning, that by necessity maintains drama and heart–even a middlingly good writer could make that work. Weir is more than middlingly good, and so the book absolutely soars. Everyone I know who’s read it cried at least once.
So the big question is, can his next novel live even halfway up to that standard? The Martian was so massively good that it was hard to expect something that perfectly done, but going into Andy Weir’s new novel, Artemis, is the real test of whether Andy Weir will be able maintain the loyalty he’s gained from so many fans.
Revisiting Corus is normally a series of posts reviewing the books set in the Tortall universe. However, Tortall: A Spy’s Guide just came out on October 31st, so we’ll be interrupting our scheduled posts to review it!
I didn’t really know what to expect going into this; all of the pithy online descriptions call it “a great gift for Tortall fans!” Which gives the impression that it’s more of a fanbook than a book, without anything new to offer. It’s also presented in a library binding style (cover printed directly onto a hardback surface), which is generally done with these sorts of ancillary books. These types of books have become popular: There’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Ultimate Guide, The TARDIS Handbook and Sherlock: The Casebook, among many, many others. These books are generally smaller and cheaper than art books or making-of chronicles, and are written in-universe, with characters compiling files for one reason or another.
I’m rereading all 19 books set in the Tortall universe, as well as Tortall ephemera, in preparation for Tempests and Slaughter‘s release in February. In this installment, I’ll be talking about the fourth and final book in the Immortals quartet, The Realms of the Gods.
I’ve always thought this book was fantastic. My thoughts on some elements of it have been complicated over time, but it still remains that it’s a fantastic book.
I’m reading the 19 Tortall books, as well as Tortall ephemera, before the 20th Tortall novel comes out this February. In this post I’ll be reviewing the second Immortals quartet book, Wolf Speaker.
In reading Alanna’s books, a lot of what I focused on was how Tamora Pierce’s writing and Alanna’s arc grew and matured over the course of the books. This book doesn’t fit that structure.