Top 5 Amy Adams Performances

July 15th, 2014

July 14th, 2014
Fantastic Mr. FoxAsh: There's a lot of attitudes going on around here...don't let me get one.

Fool's Assassin - Robin Hobb

July 10th, 2014

FitzChivalry -- royal bastard and former king's assassin -- has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock and married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, Fitz now leads the quiet life of a country squire.

Still, he remains haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become. But such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life -- until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz's past...and his future.

Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one...

Robin Hobb introduced us to FitzChivalry Farseer and the Fool nearly 20 years ago and they've been through a lot since then. If you haven't read the Farseer trilogy, where we first meet Fitz and the Fool, or the Tawny Man trilogy where their journey continues, you MAY start with this book; there is enough recap to bring you up to speed. If you have read any or all of the earlier 6 books, you are nostalgic for books read long ago and maybe a little grateful for the review since it has been so long.

I read the Farseer trilogy years ago and enjoyed the story and its characters. I have not yet read the Tawny Man trilogy, though I own it and plan to read it. Of another Hobb series, I made it through two books of her Rainwilds Chronicles. I neither enjoyed the story nor the characters. I commented after book 2 of that series that Robin Hobb is capable of so much more than this. And now she has proved me right.

Unabashedly, I loved this book. In nearly 700 pages, not much happens here, but I savored every word Ms. Hobb wrote. The details were subtle and deliberate and the book was beautifully written.

The elephant in the room is how obvious the book's big plot twist was to the readers, yet Fitz, uncharacteristically, was blind to it. It earned an emphatic, "Well, duh!" from me, but did not disrupt my overall enjoyment of the book.

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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review of it. I am under no obligation to provide a favorable review and any praise is deserved. I am honest in all of my reviews and will not compromise myself for a free product.

July 9th, 2014
Patrick Rothfuss - A Wise Man's FearNo man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection.

Hervé & Zebra Katz - Tear The House Up

June 3rd, 2014

300: Rise of an Empire

March 18th, 2014

I was happy to learn that this movie takes place during the story made famous in the previous movie, not after -- 300 didn't leave much room for a sequel. While Sparta's King Leonidas leads his brave 300 to the Battle of Thermopylae, Athenian Themistocles engages Xerxes' warships. The vast Persian Navy is lead by the ruthless and beautiful Artemisia (Eva Green) and Themistocles must do everything he can to outsmart this dangerous foe and save Greece from Godking Xerxes.

Maybe this is the signal that I have officially gotten too old (sad that I'm only 33), but I found almost everything in this movie to be gratuitous: the defined musculature, the IMAX touches, the violence, the sex, the wannabe-Braveheart motivational speeches and my goodness the blood. So much blood. There isn't much story and this is a simple exploitation of the popularity of the first movie and an exaggeration of each of its successful elements.

I am sure that this movie will still entertain a lot of people, but if I was ever in that demographic (and I loved the first 300 movie), I'm clearly not in it anymore.

March 17th, 2014
DescendantsMatt King: I'm the backup parent. The understudy.

The Kill Room

April 16th, 2013

The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver

The Kill Room by Jeffery DeaverRobert Moreno, an American citizen living in South America, is shot in the Bahamas by a sniper. The killing was commissioned by the U.S. government, who received a tip-off that Moreno was planning a terrorist attack on a U.S. oil company headquarters. But this intelligence was fatally incorrect: anti-American Moreno ordered a protest at the oil company, not an attack.

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are drafted in to investigate. While Sachs traces Moreno’s steps in New York, Rhyme travels to the scene of the crime in Nassau, where he finds himself on a dangerous path trailed by the sniper himself. As details of the case start to emerge, the pair discover that not all is what it seemed. Can they achieve justice and escape with their lives intact?

This book will be available on June 4, 2013.

Pre-order your copy.

April 15th, 2013
Jeff Goins - You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One)If you treat people like human beings and write from a place that is deep and true, you will find your audience.

Brisingr - Christoper Paolini

April 11th, 2013

Oaths sworn . . . loyalties tested . . . forces collide.

It's been only months since Eragon first uttered "brisingr," the ancient language term for fire. Since then, he's not only learned to create magic with words-he's been challenged to his very core. Following the colossal battle against the Empire's warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still, there is more adventure at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.

First is Eragon's oath to his cousin, Roran: to help rescue Roran's beloved from King Galbatorix's clutches. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength-as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices-choices that will take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.

Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?

Pressure is mounting. The Varden can only advance so far into enemy territory before war is declared. They can only hope that as each day passes Murtagh and Thorn will not attack. Eragon and Saphira are sufficient defense when they are around, but they cannot me everywhere at once and they are needed elsewhere.

Let's get this out of the way. This series should have been over in three books. There is plenty of superfluous story line that could be edited out of this book. I will concede that Paolini did a decent job keeping most of the boring parts from becoming the last part I read before giving up. I will even suggest what to cut out...Roran. To this point, Eragon's cousin hasn't brought any value to these books. He is a wild card and a cowboy and he is contrary to all of the values Paolini has tried to instill in Eragon.

With that out of the way, I am still entertained with the path that Eragon walks. I am intrigued. I want to know what happens. I am more than willing to read another book to see how this plays out. But I'm glad there is only one more book because I am ready for closure.

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