Review: “Make Good Art” Speech – By Neil Gaiman

“Make Good Art” Speech – By Neil Gaiman

Reading as part of Bout of Books 11.0 – http://youtu.be/abRhDqdEbgM?list=UUUW-tJMSwdZmxAMkpXzd0uQ

Video – http://vimeo.com/42372767

★★★★★

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Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads)
In May 2012, bestselling author Neil Gaiman stood at a podium at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts to deliver the commencement address. For the next nineteen minutes he shared his thoughts about creativity, bravery, and strength: he encouraged the students before him t

o break rules and think outside the box. Most of all, he encouraged the fledgling painters, musicians, writers, and dreamers to make good art.

Review
This book is an creative adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Commencement Speech for University of the Arts in 2012. I will say now to anyone who is interested in going in to a creative field that you should read/watch this little piece of inspiration, because Neil Gaiman is as articulate as ever in giving advice on the arts. He goes through his story in brief of how he went straight from school and started writing as much as he could, to where he is now. It’s a brilliant piece of verbal literature and it definitely got me thinking more about what I want to write and how I want to go about it.
Also I want to commend Chip Kidd who did the graphic design for the book that added an extra element of creative process and thinking that without so would have completely changed my perception of the book.
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Review: Horns by Joe Hill

Horns by Joe Hill

★★★★★

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Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads):

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with one hell of a hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

Once, Ig lived the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned American musician, and the younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, Ig had security and wealth and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more – he had the love of Merrin Williams, a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

Then beautiful, vivacious Merrin was gone – raped and murdered, under inexplicable circumstances – with Ig the only suspect. He was never tried for the crime, but in the court of public opinion, Ig was and always would be guilty.

Now Ig is possessed with a terrible new power – with just a touch he can see peoples’ darkest desires – to go with his terrible new look, and he means to use it to find the man who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge; it’s time the devil had his due.

Review

 

This book was one of the most intense books that I’ve read in a while. Having taken a break from the heavy reading scene, I found this to be a cleverly written piece of fiction. The character of Ig is by far one of the most complex and brilliantly written characters I’ve read in a while.Not to mention the constant undertones of religious referencing which gave the book an extra feel of sin. This book is all about the things it reveals looking mostly in retrospect at events that lead to the moments where Ig discovered exactly what happened to Merrin.

What I enjoyed about this book was that even though it is very heavy on the religious connotations you don’t have to be a priest yourself to understand it. This is down to the way Joe Hill illustratively interweaves this into the characters lifestyles and their thoughts.

This novel is a brutal retelling of a horrible event but ultimately shows that humans are secretive and sinful and it did so bloody marvellously!

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Review: How I Found You By Gabriella Lepore

How I Found You By Gabriella Lepore

★★★★☆

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I really enjoyed this book. It was the first one that I read after an extensive reading slump. I found it easy to read but captivating enough to sit down and read in one go!

The plot of the novel starts off where our female protagonist Rose sets out to visit her family in Millwood, like she does every summer since her parents are always travelling. We’re introduced to her archetypal relatives who breathe an air of welcome and homeliness with their new baby and seemingly large estate. It’s not long before we’re then introduced to the other two main male protagonists Oscar and Caicus Valero. When I first read their characters they reminded very much of vampires in the way they charmed their way into the lives of Rose’s aunt and uncle but I was very aware that this was in fact not a vampire fiction.

The main part I love about this novel is Rose’s characterisation and her growth. She is of very sound mind and brings strong opinions forward from the beginning. Being the only one who’s not charmed by the Valero brothers initially, she appears stubborn and rightfully dubious of their intentions. When it becomes clear to her that she’s different to the rest of her family in that respect, she asserts her stance towards them immediately. She’s feisty and takes no bull, which I really respect in a character who’s only sixteen. One thing I couldn’t call her is a Mary Sue, she’s not a protagonist where things just happen to her, to an extent this is what occurs, but she combats this with her own agenda and doesn’t take anything sitting down.

In contrast to this Oscar is a more mild character, when he has dreams of Rose he aims to get closer to her. My favourite scene is their first scene alone in the woods (I shall say no more) because his resolve to hide from her quickly dissolves. Even knowing that she suspects him and doesn’t trust him, he still trusts her, which I found really interesting considering he knows exactly what his reason is for staying at her family’s house.

The plot had a fairly interesting twist but I enjoyed it as it reminded me of Fallen by Lauren Kate which is another brilliant novel in the field of paranormal fantasy. I would definitely suggest that you read this book if you’re looking for a new insight into the paranormal and fancy a bit of romance. What I’ve read of magic in contemporary literature has been very much a sisterly bond between witches and this definitely gave the theme a breath of fresh air!

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Review – Devil’s Bargain by Rachel Caine



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Having never read any novels by Rachel Caine, but aware that she has written Vampire fiction, I was intrigued to pick up her book Devil’s Bargain. It’s a book that combines the power of string theory and psychic ability to create a mysterious investigative duo.  Not to mention the steamy moments too!
Jazz Callendar, an ex-police officer, never expected to find herself on the end of an unbelievable offer that enables her to start her P.I. business to save the name of her partner, Ben. When James Borden, attorney for Gabriel, Pike and Laskins LLP., offers her the chance of a lifetime, her instincts kick in. The catch? Their cases get priority and she has a new partner. Lucia Garza, sexy, sulty spy, who is just dying to get out from under the government’s thumb.  But they both find themselves in over their heads when not everything is as it seems. People are either Actors, Leads or they are not. Who will you be?
This book was a constant mystery to me, which I liked. The thrill of not knowing what Jazz and Lucia would face next and if they would be able to save the people that they didn’t even know existed prior to a letter from Borden. Ahh, Borden. The tension between him and Jazz was practically breathable and I was not disappointed.
If you enjoy a good conundrum and have an interest in psychic ability and its fallacies then I would definitely suggest this book. I would like to commend Caine on a well-researched novel, her detailed knowledge of the forces and law were very believable and gave the novel a new found authenticity.
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