King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

126 min.

Voor een Guy Ritchie film vond ik het nogal mild, voor een Koning Arthur-vertelling vond ik het nogal ..Indiana Jones-achtig?

king arthur poster

Weinig gewaden en oud(klinkend) Engels in deze versie, het is meer lammy coats en een hoeveelheid aan “mate”. Geen zorgen, aan het verhaal is weinig veranderd, alleen heeft Arthur er deze keer wel érg weinig zin in.

Gelukkig zijn er gigantische olifanten, magie, bijdehante bad guys en een boel (trippy) actiescènes om Arthur van gedachten te veranderen. Mate.

Als je een avonturenfilm zonder enige coherentie nodig hebt, is King Arthur: Legend of the Sword een heel redelijk aanbod. Neem wel verlichting mee: de film bestaat alleen uit tinten grijs, groen en donkerblauw.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Warners Brothers 2017

Everfair

Lisette Toutournier sighed.

Well, it could make an amazing looking TV-show. The world building is there, it’s bright and diverse (both in surroundings as represented race and sexuality). It’s just the plot that ..not really isn’t.

Everfair is the name of the reclaimed, bought Congo and later parts of surrounding countries. With steampunk elements and money from societies and countries world wide, Africans, Europeans, Americans and Asians build up a country without colonial rule. Cool, original, awesome idea.

And that’s about it. The author seems to be in a hurry to showcase the rise and fall of this young country, hopping ahead in time like she was told not to use too much pages on character development. The story only gets sadder because of this as well, pulling the reader out of the freshly created fantasy.

I’m very fond of stand alone books, definitely in the fantasy series, but maybe Everfair could have done better with being a two-parter.

Everfair, Nisi Shawl, Tor 2016

Radiance

Come forward.

First of all, I’m not very fond of the novels that show their story through a collection of notes, diaries, pamphlets, and so on. Add those as decoration, but it feels too fragmented to build a story from. Or that’s simply laziness from me.

Secondly, there’s more room for world building than plot. Yes, I know, me complaining about too much world building? On this blog? But with Radiance there is no balance between the two. Character names are thrown around while my mind’s still reeling from learning about Mars’ society, more time spent on the interior of a space ship than motivation of caring for the main characters. Who are even the main characters?

The main plot – at least I think it is – is about how a company tries to reconstruct the disappearance and or ending of one of their employees. This being a film company, and the employee being a director and daughter of a Well Known Director, makes things just a bit more glamorous.
Because that’s what Radiance is, glam. Shiny. A picture book set in words.

 

Radiance, Catherynne M. Valente, Corsair 2015

Nevernight

People often shit themselves when they die.

Ah nice, just some ordinary, entertaining sword and dagger (and dagger, and dagger) fantasy. Is it a stand alone? I don’t think so. Can it be read as one? Definitely.

Preteen girl goes through a traumatic experience, uses it to get into Superb Killer’s School to become one and punish those that put her through it. Along the ride there’s a lot of high school tropes (cliques, hateful teachers, romances) with some fantasy ones (surely there’s never been one as good as her).

It’s fun and satisfying, with some nice (with some gruesome details) world building along the way. Did it blow my mind and will stay with me forever? No. Was there anything annoyingly wrong with it? Not that I can remember.

Nevernight, Jay Kristoff, Harper Collins 2016

Lair of Dreams

Every city is a ghost.

Oh man, sometimes I’m just lucky to have a book. The first book of the series blew me away, this one -the second- easily caught up.

There’s a few new characters, a new creep and new surroundings added. But the fun, speed and adventure is still here, and I breezed through the pages once more. It’s the roaring twenties and thirties, the eye for detail without having it drag down the story.

This time there is a mysterious sleeping sickness, Diviners (and imposters) popping up around the place and terrifying metro stations. But with fun, different kind of female characters, and pizazz. I just hope I can repeat myself for the third book.

The Diviners: Lair of Dreams, Libba Bray, Little, Brown and Company 2015

Fool’s Quest

I am warm and safe in the den, with my two siblings.

Have I told you lately how much a favourite Robin Hobb is of mine? That she’s the one I recommend whenever someone asks for a fantasy author? That using ‘epic’ isn’t too much of an exaggeration with her stories?

Well, now you know. If you want sprawling fantasy with tons of (casual) world building, filled with (mostly) human characters, cool kinds of magic and enough plot, with room to breathe. It doesn’t matter if a book is over 700 pages if you can race through it, powered by excitement (too much?).

Anyway, Fool’s Quest is the second book of a trilogy and connecting worlds and stories used in previous trilogies. There is an older Fitz now, and his calm life is pretty much over and gone, because his past and the people from it, can’t let him go. It moves him from his homestead to the big city to – well, there’s a map in front of the book for a reason.

You can read these books without having read the other trilogies, but just treat yourself with at least The LiveShip Traders besides this one.

Fool’s Quest; Book II of the Fitz and The Fool trilogy, Robin Hobb, Del Rey 2015

De Cirkel

Ze wacht op een antwoord, maar Elias weet niet wat hij moet zeggen.

Eindelijk weer eens een boek waar ik met pret in ging. Zo’n boek dat je kiest tussen televisie en internet omdat  het gewoon zo snel gaat, er zoveel gebeurt, het net eng genoeg is om lekker spannend te zijn.

Er gebeuren nare dingen in Engelsfors, een klein dorp in Zweden. Daar horen uitverkorenen bij, maar deze keer zijn het tieners die tieners eerst zijn en daarna pas helden, en daardoor verloopt het redden van de wereld (?), Engelsfors (?) en zichzelf niet zo heel soepeltjes. Je zal maar moeten samenwerken met je grootste pestkop omdat een of andere heks het vraagt.

Mooi is dat het allemaal meiden zijn, die op allemaal verschillende manieren vrouw mogen zijn zonder eendimensionaal te worden. Fijn dat er geen glazuur wordt gelegd over het middelbare schoolleven, maar dat tiener-zijn in al z’n bruutheid gewoon getoond wordt.

Het is het eerste boek van een trilogie, maar alle drie de boeken zijn al uitgebracht, dus laat je dat helemaal niet tegenhouden.

De Cirkel: Engelsfors 1, Mats Standberg & Sara B. Elfgren, Bruna Fictie 2012