Incarnate

Incarnate

Rating: 1.5/5

Premise:

From IMDB:
A scientist with the ability to enter the subconscious minds of the possessed must save a young boy from the grips of a demon with powers never seen before, while facing the horrors of his past.

Review:

I was fuming by the time I left the theatre.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I absolutely loathe that a premise that has so much potential gets butchered the way this one did.

We finally get a main character who could be so unique – not only is he a scientist, which finally takes away the only approach made on these movies which is the religious one – but he can also get in people’s minds. And what do we get instead? The epitome of all clichés. And there are so many of them, don’t even get me started. There is the scruffy grief-stricken widower with nothing to lose, a religious crisis and a long time vendetta, there are his couple of sidekicks with the fancy aura reading machines (except here they are ion charges or something), and the secretive mentor and the deadly serum that the mc says he is never going to use but you so know he is gonna – and the rest is just filler for something that could be truly creepy.

Incarnation grabbed my attention from the get go, particularly with that initial dance club scene, which featured the most perfect song for the moment and gave me an almost Matrix vibe. We quickly know what is going on, what our main guy is capable of doing and how he is doing it – all through the natural sequence of the story, not because the information is dumped on the viewer. And that approach pretty much stops there.

From that point on it all went downhill. There are so many plot holes (Why call it Maggie?? Even the demons called it Maggie! It’s the name of an innocent woman, for crying out loud. Why does Ember need to almost die if he says he found out about his ability while he was sleeping? Why not just give him a powerful sedative? Why did the entity target Ember so particularly? I mean, if it wanted to keep possessing people it should have left him minding his own business, not helping anyone cause he was just trying to lead a normal life, right? Why was the boy not tied up if it was so dangerous for him to touch anyone? Come to think of it, why did it just stand there? Why did people touch Ember on the street seconds after yelling for people not to touch him? There is so much more but I forgot it in the meantime), the dialogues are cringe-worthy, whatever information needs to be delivered is dumped without much context, the kid’s mother has no heart and doesn’t really seem concerned for her son’s well-being, she is actually doing Ember a favour of allowing him to help the boy and the way things developed is just why I tend to stay away from movie theatres for months in a row. Worst of all, something that could be incredibly original turned out to be a total rip off of a movie I watched many moons ago, right down to the way it ended. Except the other one took place in some woods, I think.

*sigh*

There were definitely interesting touches here and there like the detail of the watches stopping, the fact that Ember is in a wheelchair provided some exciting scenes, and even the ending, despite being a total rip-off, had a bittersweet tinge to it considering what Felix had told Ember. However, overall I cannot say Incarnate is worth watching.

The Catcher in the Rye

Title: The Catcher in the Rye

Author: J.D. Salinger

Genres: Realistic Fiction

Length: 230 pages

Source: Purchased

Format: Paperback

Rating: 3.5/5

Premise:

Holden Caulfield takes us through what happens when he gets kicked out of his fourth school.

Review:

This is a difficult one for me to review. For one, I can definitely see why it is a classic. Holden stays with you, even if he gets on your nerves. He is most certainly the embodiment of teenage angst and there is just so much you can discuss reading this.
However, I did find the novel dull and the repetitive nature of the main character’s voice got to me.

This has got to be one of the best show-not-tell examples I have seen of a character. His anxious nature shone through every sentence and at times it was quite intense to see how the world around Holden affects him. He acts like he has all the answers but he really is a very confused and lost boy.

While we follow Holden trying to avoid facing his parents after the fourth expulsion the fact is nothing much happens; and if his very particular voice was a breath of fresh air in the beginning it didn’t take long for it to become overwhelming. I cannot say I looked forward to picking up the book when I was not reading it.

I did think it picked up towards the end and although the ending felt abrupt it was also kind of perfect and after an entire narrative where the main character keeps stating how depressing stuff is I needed it.

Overall I think The Catcher in the Rye is great food for thought but it is not for everyone and not for every mood.

Read from Dec 26th to Dec 29th, 2016

GR Review

Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands

Rating: 4.95/5

Premise:

From IMDB:
A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation.

Review:

This is probably my favourite Tim Burton movie.

I hadn’t watched it in many years but that scene of Dianne Wiest going Avon calling! always stuck with me.

The visual impact of this movie is mind-blowing. Paired with an enrapturing soundtrack makes this film a modern day (at the time) fairytale that will capture your attention and never let it go.

There is a hint of magic and sadness and innocence and danger throughout the narrative while people first go around their normal lives and then try to get to know this mysterious character.

The colour details are simply mesmerising. The gaudy coloured houses and cars, the lawns and dogs and everything that makes this the perfect neighbourhood where lonely housewives don’t have much to do but gossip. Everything is bright and everyone is the caricature of happiness, but in a very realistic manner, if that makes any sense.

As soon as things begin to turn darker for Edward, so do the colours around him. Then of course there is the magical scene of Winona Ryder dancing in the ‘snow’ and the crescendo up to the gruesome finale just sucks you in. The eeriness that kept creeping with the mansion’s flashbacks finally culminates into a very broken heart for yours truly.

It is not meant to be a realistic story. Yes, people do very dumb things in this movie. But nonetheless you can take much from this tale and it will surely stay with you for years and years to come.
I know it has for me.

An Intimate Obsession

Title: An Intimate Obsession

Author: Elizabeth McGregor

Genres: Psychological Thriller

Length: 360 pages | 4519 Locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 3.75/5

Premise:

Eve’s neighbour Hugh Scott comes to her aid just when she needed, when she just could not take her cold, even cruel father who suffers from Alzheimer’s any longer. But Hugh makes her uncomfortable, for some reason she cannot place.
Eve does not know that Hugh Scott obsesses over her. Nor how far he will go to make her his. Especially when thoughtful and caring 19-year-old Jonathan Davies comes into the picture.

Review:

An Intimate Obsession is a very tense thriller.

I always had an issue with the characters – in particular, Eve struck me as too nonchalant or more naive than possible. I often wondered how she could take care of her father like that, considering how he acted while she was growing up. On the other hand, Jon did not sound 19 at all, especially in the beginning.

However, they are all very well developed, have multiple sides to them and evolve in a deep manner. The psychological charge is just so intense in this book. The highlight for me was definitely the interaction between Hugh and Bill. Both of them shocked and repulsed me, which completely gripped my attention.

From then point on though, I felt like the book dragged on quite a bit. The fact is the most fascinating part for me had passed. It was interesting seeing a character devolve so much in the last chapters but it paled in comparison to what I had felt reading that one scene.

An Intimate Obsession is better than any psychological thrillers I have read lately so I do recommend it.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Dec 20th to Dec 25th, 2016

GR Review

Carnivalesque

Title: Carnivalesque

Author: Neil Jordan

Genres: Fantasy

Length: 288 pages | 2794 Locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 3.5/5

Premise:

When visiting the Carnival with his parents, Andy gets stuck behind a mirror. His reflection in turn takes life and exits the Hall of Mirrors taking the life that was Andy’s.
Will he ever be back?
Will he want to?

Review:

Carnivalesque is a very special book. I was surprised at the depth of it.

It awakened in me unexpected feelings such as sadness, loss, wonder, hope… Even though the book was told in an almost fairy tale manner, I felt connected to Andy, and wanted the boy to find happiness, wherever that might be.

And then there is the parallel narrative with Andy’s doppelganger and especially his mother, and I felt for her as well.

At times Carnivalesque lost me. It did wander quite a bit a bit and the prose was not particularly easy to follow now and then. I didn’t even know what was going on, one time or another. Also, I wish certain concepts were more explored, although the ephemeral and whimsical nature of the story almost made it slip my mind.

If I had to sum up this book in one word it would be magical.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Dec 12th to Dec 19th, 2016

GR Review

Only Blue Will Do

Title: Only Blue Will Do

Author: Mark Rippon

Genres: Science Fiction

Length: 272 pages | 4221 Locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 1.5/5

Premise:

In the frozen landscapes of Norway, two bodies were found.
What follows defies logical explanation.

Review:

Only Blue Will Do confused the heck out of me.

It started out very scientifically, describing the changes to a frozen area’s fauna and flora as a result of the progressive increase in temperature.

Then it got just plain weird, particularly with the introduction of the second main character. It was clear the author tried to infuse them with a sense of normalcy but the dialogues were stilted and the prose riddled with unnecessary figures of speech that made it drag on.

Kate and her mixed signs were utterly annoying and Hugh was beyond naive. They did not feel real at all. But then again nothing in that story seemed so.

There is no transition between the moment the characters are presented with a mind-blogging revelation and what becomes their new reality. The change was so abrupt I actually thought I had skipped an entire chapter.

The narrative evolves under the presumption that there is no time and space and what follows is esoteric and psychedelic. The descriptions are indeed beautiful and unique but the entire thing feels utterly pointless. The book ended, to me at least, with a sense of dismay and precious time lost.

The story was a bumpy ride to say the least, and I have to admit reading the book became a chore, so even though there may be folks out there who will like it I cannot say I recommend it.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Dec 5th to Dec 11th, 2016

GR Review

Dark Vision

Title: Dark Vision

Author: Debbie Johnson

Genres: Fantasy | Paranormal

Length: 336 pages | 4414 Locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 2/5

Premise:

Lily can see a person’s future just by touching them.
It is not something she wanted or that she can control so, at 26 years old, she is almost a hermit, working at night and not letting people touch her. Ever.
When a handsome stranger enters her life, Lily will finally get the answers she craved. But she will not like them.

Review:

When I began reading Dark Vision I found it a refreshing YA novel. The main character is in her mid-twenties and has developed quite a sarcastic personality.

However, as the story progressed I found myself growing more disinterested in what happened. The premise is never really explained properly. Concepts that could have been engaging were just mentioned and then never picked up again because it became all about Lily. Her witty remarks were a bit much at times, to the point where the lack of interest and blind acceptance of everything that happened was no longer new and uplifting. It was just unbelievable. Same goes for her friend. Who on earth would accept vampires just like that, not to mention all the other stuff?

Lily’s thing with Gabriel got so old so fast. Towards the end I just felt like the story was dragging on and on, repeating what had already been told so many times, with all the main character’s ‘all my life’ speeches.

There is an attempt to create a choice out of a situation where there simply isn’t one and, again, that got really old after a while.

I just can’t say I enjoyed the story, though I did like the Liverpool setting and the main character’s humour, for the most part.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Dec 2nd to Dec 4th, 2016

GR Review

November 2016 Wrap-Up

November was a pretty amazing month!

I cozied up with several great reads while it was raining outside and it was heavenly.

I read shorter books for the most part and so I was able to get fully involved with the stories, instead of there being so many breaks in between reads.

Also, I set myself a challenge – get to at least 70% feedback rate on Netgalley and stay there – and I achieved it! It’s the staying there part that proves a challenge but so far so good.

And finally towards the end of the month I had a job opportunity that allowed me to travel to Southampton, England and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Still with my head in the clouds a bit.


Summary:

Total Books Read: 10

Longest Read: The Summer Goddess (464 pages)

Shortest Read: Drayton, the Taker (Drayton #1) (70 pages)

Book of the Month: All We Shall Know

Favourite Cover:

Challenges Progress:

GoodReads: 55/50

2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss: 37/?


November Books:

 

I began the month by finishing The Summer Goddess, by Joanne Hall.

This book left me with mixed feelings. I did not care for the main character and, although interesting, it was not one of those books I felt I had to know what happened next, but I feel that was mostly because I was not the target audience for this, as the overly descriptive pose lost me quite often. I know other people will enjoy it very much.

I rated it 3/5 stars.

 

I then read White by Tim Lebbon.

It is a cabin-in-the-woods where everyone starts dying one by one sort of tale sort of tale but the author manages to do something completely different with it. The horror and sense of hopelessness is palpable.

I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

 

I then immersed myself in All We Shall Know, by Donal Ryan.

This was such a new and positive experience for me. I really wish I could have read this in one sitting. Melody Shee is not a lovable character but she is a very deep one and this book is just amazing on so many levels. Highly recommended.

I rated it 4.8/5 stars.

 

I moved on to another short tale, Drayton, the Taker (Drayton #1) by Tony Bertauski.

Once again the author does not disappoint.
This is a short story introducing a vampire inspired character who is so much more than that. There are details that make the story and character unique and I have to recommend it.

I rated it 4.5/5 stars.

 

I moved on to The Many, by Nathan Field.

Boy, that one had me hooked from the get go. It was so suspenseful with such freaky stuff going on. I never knew if there was something supernatural with it. I love being kept in the dark. Then around halfway through the book the turn of events became quite disappointing. I felt this book deserved a much better resolution. It was still an exciting read, for the most part, and I absolutely adore the cover.

I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

 

I then read Lies by TM Logan.

This truly was a gripping psychological thriller. The author does a terrific job at explaining how an average Joe would find his life turned upside down. There were quite a few surprises but the fact I figured out what was happening about halfway through the book brought the rating down. Still, it was very well written and I recommend it.

I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

 

I finally got to In a Dark, Dark Wood, by Ruth Ware.

This began so well and the development was great up until the last third or so.
Then it felt like it dragged on, with obvious devices being used to stretch out the narrative and come to the resolution the author intended, which I found predictable.

I rated it 3.25/5 stars.

 

Still sticking with psychological thrillers, Safe With Me by K.L. Slater was next.

The main character was something, alright. I don’t think I have ever read a book starring someone as deranged.
Watching things through Anna’s eyes was disturbing, which I loved but got old after a while, and I felt not enough interesting stuff was happening. On the other hand I wished for more closure on a few things.

I rated it 3/5 stars.

 

We Like You So Much and Want to Know You Better, by Dave Eggers and narrated by Dion Graham was a very quick listen.

The characters were weak but it was a thought-provoking story, so I recommend it.

I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

 

 

My final book of the month was The Fates by Thomas Tessier.

Well, it was different. Unfortunately not in a good way.
The characters were many and not very development and the lack of resolution was quite disappointing.

I rated it 2/5 stars.

 


Where I got the books:

Audible

  • We Like You So Much and Want to Know You Better

Netgalley

  • The Summer Goddess
  • White
  • All We Shall Know
  • Drayton, the Taker (Drayton #1)
  • The Many
  • Lies
  • In a Dark, Dark Wood
  • Safe With Me
  • The Fates

 

Movie Reviews:

 

 

Other Posts in November :

 


How was November for you?
Do you have a Wrap-up post? Please link it below!