Book Reviews

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beasts

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: The Original Screenplay
Author: J.K. Rowling
Rating: ★★★★★

J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut is captured in this exciting hardcover edition of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay.

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. Featuring a cast of remarkable characters, this is epic, adventure-packed storytelling at its very best.

Whether an existing fan or new to the wizarding world, this is a perfect addition to any reader’s bookshelf.

J.K. Rowling is known for having some great quotes, and that didn’t just end in Harry Potter. Continuing into Fantastic Beasts, there is so much wisdom present in some very simple lines. However, these are very deep.

QUEENIE
Are all No-Majs like you?

JACOB
(trying to be serious, almost seductive)
No, I’m the only one like me.

The below quote is something that I definitely need to work on. It rings so true with today’s society of everyone racing from one place to the next and worrying how we are going to be able to accomplish everything we set for ourselves. Sometimes we need to focus on just living in the moment. If we keep ourselves so busy that we forget to breathe, we lose out on potentially great moments. We forget to just live.

fantastic beasts dance

My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.

Probably everyone’s favorite character (myself included) is the niffler. It is absolutely adorable and brings a little comedic relief to the screenplay.

niffler

I really enjoyed this novel. And after the second time reading it, you start to see little things that were missed prior. This was a great setup for the next screenplay, and I think I actually enjoyed it more than The Crimes of Grindelwald. Poor Credence.

Book Reviews

1984 by George Orwell

1984Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Rating: ★★★

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984 is your typical dystopian novel. Right away, I thought of WWII, concentration camps, and censorship. Hitler has nothing on these guys! Every little thing is monitored. You can’t even say what you truly think in front of your children without fear of them turning you into the Thought Police! Individualism is completely taken away.

We see the perspective of this new unending war from our protagonist, Winston Smith, who lives in Oceania (the Americas, the British Isles, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, and Southern Africa below the River Congo). However, Eurasia (Portugal to the Bering Strait) and Eastasia (China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea) are also in constant war with Oceania. There are multiple times throughout the novel where Oceania is allied with Eastasia and then quickly switches over to Eurasia, however, the alliances and wars are constant, so the previous relationships never existed, or so the authorities want you to think! These constant wars are needed to keep the societies in check…hence the war is peace.

The only way to be truly free in 1984 is by completely giving oneself over to the Party. Not letting those thoughts come to mind except those which the Party accepts…pretty much losing your individualism. The freedom received from the Party is similarly enslaving yourself to their views.

As long as no one revolts against the high class, things are doomed to stay the same. The low are stuck as they are. As soon as the high is overthrown by both the middle and low (who hold the majority in numbers), a new middle and high class will emerge and history will repeat itself. Without banning together to overthrow the oppressors, things are bound to stay as they are…ignorance is strength for those in power.

Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.

This quote is a prime example of Winston’s relationship with Julia. Both sharing the same views on authority, they bond. The relationship starts to bloom and becomes physical, but we see Winston is yearning for more on thoughts of the Party, which Julia seems to have no interest in. She is one of those people who is all talk and no action.

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

We see exactly this with Winston’s occupation at the Ministry of Truth. He is forced to literally rewrite history to depict what is currently happening in the world today. I really don’t understand how the people fall for this. Considering I am the worst liar, the Thought Police would be all over me and I’d be a goner.

The best books…are those that tell you what you know already.

Yes! I totally agree. I love when the ending was right in front of your fingertips the whole time (literally!).

AMAZON 100 BOOKS TO READ IN A LIFETIME

Book Reviews

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

The Wicker King

Title: The Wicker King
Author: K. Ancrum
Rating: ★★

This was the January Buddy Read from the Dragons & Tea Book Club sponsored by Melanie and Amy.

➽ The Dates & Breakdown:
January 1st – Pages 1 – 59
January 2nd – (The River) Pages 60 – 109
January 3rd – (The Wicker King) Pages 110 – 173
January 4th – (Burn) Pages 174 – 237
January 5th – (Flash) Pages 238 – End!

 

I honestly don’t even know what I just read. I’m still trying to figure out the plotline.

Book Reviews

The Alamo Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #7) by Kathleen Y’Barbo

the alamo brideTitle: The Alamo Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #7)
Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Series for Lovers of History, Adventure, Romance, and Ancestry

Will Ellis Lose All at the Alamo?
Ellis Dumont finds a man in New Orleans Grey unconscious on Dumont property in 1836. As his fevers rage, the man mutters strange things about treasures and war. Either Claiborne Gentry has lost his mind or he’s a spy for the American president—or worse, for the Mexican enemy that threatens their very lives. With the men of her family away, Ellis must stand courageous and decide who she can trust. Will she put her selfish wants ahead of the future of the republic or travel with Clay to Mission San Jose to help end the war?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo.

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)​
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1836 Texas (February 2019)

This reminded me of Pearl Harbor because you had a girl who was a healer and a guy who was in the military (insert googly eyes here). This is probably one of my favorites in the series so far. Ellis was very humble and kind. Clay was very protective. But, probably my favorite character in both protagonists is that they were fiercely loyal. My dream was to marry a Southern gentleman adorned in a military uniform, so this was exactly the kind of book I wanted.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust

-Psalm 91:4

Having never read a novel set during the Alamo (which I previously had no interest in), this historical story caught my attention. The novel was well-written, descriptive, and intriguing.

Book Reviews

AA-1025: Memoirs of the Communist Infiltration Into The Church by Marie Carre

AA 1025Title: AA-1025: Memoirs of the Communist Infiltration Into The Church
Author: Marie Carre
Rating: ★★★★★

Absorbing and compelling reading from beginning to end, AA -1025 Memoirs of the Communist Infiltration Into the Church is a must read for every Catholic today and for all who would understand just what has happened to the Catholic Church since the 1960 s.

In the 1960’s, a French nurse, Marie Carre, attended an auto-crash victim who was brought into her hospital in a city she purposely does not name. The man lingered there near death for a few hours and then died. He had no identification on him, but he had a briefcase in which there was a set of quasi-autobiographical notes. She kept these notes and read them, and because of their extraordinary content, decided to publish them.

The result is this little book, AA-1025 Memoirs of the Communist Infiltration Into the Church, a strange and fascinating account of a Communist who purposely entered the Catholic priesthood along with many others, with the intent to subvert and destroy the Church from within. His strange yet fascinating and illuminating set of biographical notes, tells of his commission to enter the priesthood, his experiences in the seminary, and the means and methods he used and promoted to help effect from within the auto-dissolution of the Catholic Church.

This book was introduced to me by someone who was really close to me. And by the cover, it looks to be a little boring. However, this started off just how I never imagined it would.

A french nurse was attending to a victim and found some notes on him after he died. What was in the letters was amazing. This man was a Russian whose occupation was to be a spy for the Communist party. And he was to do this by becoming a priest. I know I shouldn’t laugh, but it did make me chuckle reading that this man purposely would go to Confession with the intention of telling the priests his mastermind plan! The funny part was that he thought they would be surprised and they didn’t really blink an eye at him because they were so believing of God.

Trying to destroy the meaning of the Eucharist, he talks of his plan of action. What is even crazier, is that some of these “changes” he talks about making have already happened. One of his plans did kind of backfire…”Raven Hair”, his muse, ended up doing something he did not expect. I wonder if she ever read this memoir? 

This was a very interesting read that opened my eyes to evil we may not always think about and how some people literally try to destroy good things. A definite read for anyone Catholic or interested in history!

Book Reviews

Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi

Outrun the Wind

Title: Outrun the Wind
Author: Elizabeth Tammi
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength, even while her prophetic powers linger. But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta.

To earn back Artemis’s favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia— where the king’s daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father’s insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn’t sure what to make of Kahina. As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis’ second rule.

She helps Atalanta devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage, and word spreads throughout Greece, attracting suitors willing to tempt fate to go up against Atalanta in a race for her hand. But when the men responsible for both the girls’ dark pasts arrive, the game turns deadly.

Robin Hood meets Wonder Woman. The story starts out with a bang. Artemis is mad and sends one of her monsters to destroy a kingdom, however, when one of her own huntresses gets in the way, new hope arises out of a country almost forgotten. Atalanta is your typical teenager in some ways: a little cocky, ignorant to her own faults, and insecure at the same time. But, also a monster butt-kicking legend…at least to those who don’t know the truth.

The trees tremble, and it is not from the wind.

I clench my fists so my fingers don’t follow the trees’ example, and reach behind my back, pulling out an arrow and nocking it in a motion so practiced that I don’t need to take my eyes off of the treeline. Sunlight glimmers like a jewel through the shifting leaves.

“It’s here,” Meleager says, his voice solid and unafraid.

As we all know, fame can blind us. People who once were nothing to us suddenly gain interest. And in the limelight of being accepted by those we have always wished, we don’t always see the truth behind the sudden attention. This is exactly what happens to Atalanta.

The story came in hot, but then the middle took a complete 180. All of the action I was relishing turned into love. And while love it nice to have around, it is also nice to have action during the same time, and that didn’t happen for me. There was some disconnect. Almost like an aside from the action. Not only that, but, like always, the author always makes the characters pick the person I don’t want them to. Why can’t they ever pick the super nice ones (Wahh!)?!

crying

If not for the little love aside, I really enjoyed the novel. The action scenes were great and there is so much potential for either a series or other novels based in the same universe.

It’s impossible for us both, I realize. She can’t outrace the world. I can’t stay, and I can’t bear to leave her. We can’t outrun the wind.

Book Reviews

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

The Great Divorce

Title: The Great Divorce
Author: C.S. Lewis
Rating: ★★★★

C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce is a classic Christian allegorical tale about a bus ride from hell to heaven. An extraordinary meditation upon good and evil, grace and judgment, Lewis’s revolutionary idea in the The Great Divorce is that the gates of Hell are locked from the inside. Using his extraordinary descriptive powers, Lewis’ The Great Divorce will change the way we think about good and evil.

C.S. Lewis: the man behind the glorious Chronicles of Narnia. Our narrator arrives in Hell and is waiting in line to board the bus. While waiting, he hears multiple conversations between people. Summarizing that the “divorce” between good and evil is up to each and every person, he explains this through the imagery of taking a bus from Hell to the edge of Heaven. People are preventing their own way to Heaven by keeping the distant things from the past present in their minds. Pretty much each chapter tells the story of a different person in Hell and their excuses, grudges, and vices keeping them from reaching their eternal happiness.

I doubt if he knew clearly what he meant. But you and I must be clear. There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him. And the higher and mightier it is in the natural order, the more demoniac it will be if it rebels. It’s not out of bad mice or bad fleas you make demons, but out of bad archangels. The false religion of lust is baser than the false religion of mother-love or patriotism or art: but lust is less likely to be made into a religion.

I absolutely love that a Christian lesson is taught through a fantasy tale. This makes for an easy read, and it is relatable to everyone, not just Christians. Human flaw is depicted through many struggles we all face. But in the light of reality, we must remove the negative aspects of our life in order to obtain true happiness.

“The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven”