Station Eleven (Emily St.John Mandel)- Book review

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Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel, is a novel revolving around an apocalyptic flu epidemic and follows a series of interconnecting characters. These characters are all connected by a famous Hollywood star, Arthur Leander, who dies of a heart attack during a stage production of King Lear in Toronto immediately before the flu outbreak starts. Primarily, the story takes place 20 years after the epidemic, following 28 year old Kirsten (a child actor on stage with Arthur when he died) and the group she travels with, ‘The Travelling Symphony,’ a caravan of actors and musicians who travel between the towns and settlements of the new world performing music and Shakespeare. However, the story also jumps non-chronologically between the lives of Arthur, his first ex-wife Miranda, his friend Clark, and the man who performed CPR on him on stage, Jeevan; focusing on their lives before, during, and after the outbreak. The way the story changes and develops is so intriguing and gripping that I am not going to spoil any of it in this review, as I didn’t know anything about it going in and it added to the experience. I will say though that this novel feels like it should be a classic, it’s beautifully written, it leaves you thinking about what it’s trying to say long after you’ve finished reading, and I found it very hard to put it down. Continue reading “Station Eleven (Emily St.John Mandel)- Book review”

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Moana (2016)- Film review

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Moana is the latest film from Disney animation. Set in ancient Polynesia, a young chieftains daughter, named Moana, is raised on stories of the Demi-god Maui and how he stole a life giving stone which was then lost to the sea, causing a darkness to spread across the world. When the supposed legend turns out to be true as the darkness reaches Moana’s Island, the Ocean chooses Moana as its champion, and she must decide whether to go and find Moui and make him correct his mistake, or stay with her tribe as the future chieftain. It is an exciting musical adventure filled with magic, beauty and heart. I didn’t know what to think going in because I wasn’t the biggest fan of Frozen (2013) and have preferred Disney animation’s none-musical films, like Zootopia (2016) and Wreck-It Ralph (2012}, but I ended up having a lot of fun with this one. It felt like it belonged alongside the classic Disney musicals of the 90s, such as Aladdin (1992) and Lion King (1994). Moana stars newcomer Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson, and is directed and written by John Musker and Ron Clements, the team behind The Little Mermaid (1989), Aladdin and Hercules (1997). Continue reading “Moana (2016)- Film review”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)- Film review

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a prequel/spin-off of the Harry Potter franchise and is the first film in a planned 5 film series. The film follows Magizoologist Newt Scamander as he arrives in New York with a suitcase full of magical creatures, and when an encounter with No-Maj (American Muggle) Jacob Kowalski causes some of his Beasts to escape into New York, Newt and others must track them down before they hurt others or themselves. The film offers a familiar yet different setting from the Harry Potter films, as it’s set in America in the 1920s. We see new aspects of the wizarding world, such the American Wizarding Government MACUSA (the Magical Congress of the United States of America), but it is still a return to the world of magic that we love and they really play off of that. You can’t help feeling excited when the music starts and as this was written by J.K Rowling and directed by David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter films, you feel like you’re in the right hands. Fantastic Beasts stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller and Alison Sudol. Continue reading “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)- Film review”

Prisoners (2013)- Film review

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Prisoners is an intense thriller directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Paul Dano. The story surrounds the disappearance of two young girls, Anna and Joy, and the actions of Keller Dover (Jackman), Anna’s father, and Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) as they each try to find the girls in very different ways. When Detective Loki is forced to release primary suspect Alex Jones (Dano), Keller takes matters into his own hands. Prisoners is a harrowing and deeply disturbing film about how far this father will go in order to find his daughter. I don’t want to say any more as this is a mystery and it goes places that really surprised me. It is a tough film to stomach but is worth it in the end. Continue reading “Prisoners (2013)- Film review”

A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness)- Book Review

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A Monster Calls, Written by Patrick Ness and based on an idea of Siobhan Dowd, is a novel about a 13 year old boy, Connor, dealing with his Mother going through a terminal illness through encounters with a Monster, who comes to him at night. This Monster tells Connor stories that connect to Connors life in ways Connor doesn’t expect or like, and wishes to hear the truth that Connor keeps secret inside his dreams. A Monster Calls is very fast paced and so is very quick to read. It is around 200 pages long but I managed to finish it in about a day as it was very easy to read and very hard to put down.  Continue reading “A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness)- Book Review”