Monday, June 30, 2014

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare - Spoiler-free review

Cassandra Clare did what she can do best – pleased her fans by writing the amazing conclusion to ‘The Mortal Instruments’ Series. It was a fascinating read.

“Okayyyyy,” Isabelle said in a low voice, “When did Brother Zachariah get hot?” 

The plot is much like the previous books – kill the bad guy, save the world. Clary and co are trying to find Sebastian who wants to rule the world by using dark shadowhunters he calls Endarkened to conquer it. The war is inevitable and lives will be lost.

‘City of Heavenly Fire’ opens with a double murder and the introduction of the new characters – the twelve-year-old Emma and her relatives. These will be the main characters in Cassandra’s new series – The Dark Artifices. During the course of the book they are folded out and you get to know them. In my opinion the author spent too much time on these characters.

If you follow Cassie on twitter, you’d know that characters we know by name will die. The first death occurs at around the one hundred page mark. Honestly, I didn’t fill such a loss when most of these characters died. I just couldn’t relate to them. Well, save for *SPOILER* Jodran and Raphael

“Isabelle tugged her tank top back down and glared at her brother. “You don’t knock now?”“It’s my bedroom!” Alec spluttered.” 

Throughout the novel you find out who’s been helping Sebastian and why. It was a Downworlders. That’s all I am going to say. Also you explore Sebastian’s motives for doing everything he’s doing.

Jace and Clary were annoying at the beginning of the novel. When their “fire kiss” finally happens it gets more interesting. And if you are their fan of them here’s something: they finally got together *SPOILER* as in having sex on the lakeshore together.  Malec and Sizzy too got some pagetime(not sure if that’s a thing). Even though both had very emotional moments, I was happy with how things worked out in the end.

"Should I change my Facebook status from 'it's complicated' to 'in a relationship'?" Simon said.

Isabelle screwed up her nose adorably "You have a book that's also a face?"

There were a lot of references to ‘The Infernal Devices’ and ‘The Bane Chronicles’. Now, as a person who has read neither of them but has heard a thing of two I wasn't too confused. We get to see Clary meeting Tessa and then comes quite a revelation (at least to me because I haven’t read TID. I am trying to say that there won’t be a problem reading this book without having read Cassandra’s other series. 

The entire second trilogy had set up for the epic final battle. At least I hoped it will be really epic. I was rather disappointed because the final battle between the Nephilim and the Endarkened was not as long as I hoped. But the final twist that happened when Sebastian gave Clary an ultimatum. Soon after that was the plot twist I am talking about.

“Freely we serve

Because we freely love, as in our will

To love or not; in this we stand or fall.”

To sum up, I can easily say that this is the best book of the six. It was written in Clare’s writing, which can be very descriptive. That is what I like about her work. I think she ended the series in the best way she could’ve. I am very happy with this book and I’ll probably pick up Lady Midnight when it’s released next year.

*Mark over the blank spaces to see the hidden text/ spoilers. 

                                        Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, June 28, 2014


The new installment of the franchise is back fresher, better and bigger. This is the first movie shot with the newest IMAX cameras, save for "Interstellar". It is filled with more CGI and explosions but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The new cast is good as they brought some emotions into the movie.

The plot isn't something unseen or unheard of. On the one hand we have Mark Wahlberg is portraying a very protective father called Cade Yeager, who tries to invent and repair things in order to earn a living. His daughter Tessa(Nicola Peltz)is trying to go to college. Jack Reynor embodies a character named Shane Dyson - Tessa's secret boyfriend. There is also Lucas a kind of friend and employee of Cade.

On the other hand Joshua Joyce(Stanley Tucci) is presented to us as the scientist, who claims to have found a new element of the Periodic table he names "Transformium". There is also Darcy Tirrel (Sophia Myles) - the sort of assistant of Joshua. There is also a member of the Secret Services who helps them(or at least we are let to believe so) called Harold. And the Transformers are, of course, here.
The movie starts off with Cade finding a truck and then being attacked by the government because of it. It chases him because the truck is, in fact, Optimus Prime. After a series of events Shane meets Tessa's father under bad circumstances. In the end they team up for the sake of saving Tessa. There was some humor in this film and wasn't as dry as it used to be before. So I am happy for that.

The first hour and something of the film takes place in Texas and Chicago. Afterwards it moves to Beijing and Hong Kong. 

Speaking of hours, the film's length is around the two and a half hour mark. The official running time is 165 minutes but they include the ten-minute credits. It didn't feel as long to me as I've heard from others. I will lie if I say that it isn't dragged at some scenes but that's not too noticeable.

Regardless of what people say about Michael Bay's direction I liked it. Quite a lot, in fact. Yes, there were quite a few lens flares and an enormous amount of explosions but that's just his approach. And I am not ashamed to say I liked it. 

Speaking of direction I simply cannot not mention the special and visual effects, which were astonishing. I did find Prime looking differently in this installment. He was looking better. Same goes for all the autobots.

The sound was incredible. At least to me. I saw it in DOLBY ATMOS and I was just blow away or dare I say magnetised upwards. The sounding was fascinating. There was a setain scene were objects were magnetically dragged upwards and the sound just kind of... shivered me. I could feel so many vibrations and it was just incredible experience. Mentioning sound, the soundtrack is really well-done. "Imagine dragons did thair job rally well. The music was a perfect fit for the scenes.

Speaking of autobots, Prime and his fellows are not welcome on Earth anymore. At least not by the government because they are now considered dangerous. We are introduced to the new, "improved" versions of the transformers. They have been artificially created by the humans from the remains of the killed decepticons. They transform in a different way and are more durable. They are harder to kill/destroy. 

And lets face it, you want to know about the dinobots. Yes, they do transform but I can't say anything else without giving too much away. Just a hint - they do not transform into cars. The dinobots were on the screen around the last 40-60 minutes. 

And last but not least the acting was definitely better. I liked Mark's expression and everything. Tessa overacting sometimes but, oh well, which blond in Bay's film doesn't? Shane's actor was really good at showing emotions too. 

All in short, Transformers: Age of Extinction is overall the best installment in the quadrilogy and franky, one of Bay's best films. Of course, it has its flaws like not really clear plot but it was very entertaining movie with a few moments that leave you on the edge of your seat. 

Rating: 8 out of 10 stars.

The next film of the franchise is heading for a 2016 release date. 


Tuesday, June 17, 2014


 Cinder is a sci-fi, dystopian novel, which is written by Marissa Meyer. When I started reading the book, I couldn’t put it down.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

It is loosely based on the classic fairytale “Cinderella”. Everything takes place in New Beijing 100+ years after the 5th World War. Cinder is gifted mechanic and a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction.

The book is fast-paced and written extremely well. It is told from 3rd person’s POV which was a good choice. There is a lot of foreshadowing in it. I am not quite sure if I like that because you find out many things before the characters themselves and everything leads to these huge reveals and turns.

The characters are relatable and very well build. Especially the evil stepmother cliché. God, I wanted to punch that woman.  Same goes for Queen Levana.

Cinder was not your typical girl character. She was strong and seeked for information herself. As I said I could relate to her with ease.  She was very believable and wasn’t irritating. This can be said about Kai too, excluding the fact that he is naïve.

I was impressed the plot. It was original and had very few plot holes, which I barely noticed. That ending, though. I knew partly what was about to happen from the foreshadowing but I did not suspect everything that happened. There were twists. Everything was leading up to it. That’s all I can say without giving away any spoilers.

In short, Cinder was a riveting read, which is a rollercoaster of emotions through the characters experiences and it’s just fascinating. Marissa Meyer has done a very good job at writing this story with believable characters.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The sequels “Scarlet” and “Cress” are on sale now.

I have no rights over the photos. 

Monday, June 16, 2014


These broken stars looks like a romance book from its cover, promoted as a science fiction one and written as a survival story. It is the first book from the “Starbound” series.

The story is about two young people stuck on a terraformed planet by themselves with no other humans on it when their spaceship falls out of hyperspace.

The book is definitely in the sci-fi genre, though the spaceship parts take place only in the first chapters. After that the two main characters are stuck on an unknown planet. The girl is the daughter of the richest man in the universe and the boy – a soldier, who is now a major. The authors(Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner) have taken a difficult task telling it from two POV’s – Lilac and Tarver’s. I was never confused while reading. I could easily differentiate Tarver and Lilac’s points of views. I also loved how much character development was in the book. Their characters were developed beautifully. 

Being a YA book, you can expect to find romance in it. The love story, in fact, is there. But it happens slowly and it doesn't feel forced. That is the thing about this novel. The love story is a subplot.



These broken stars is a book combining a few genres – sci-fi, romance and survival. These genres create an amazing survival story which is just as compelling as it is exhilarating. It is a gripping read with quite a few jaw-dropping moments that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Rating: 4.5

The sequel "THIS SHATTERED WORLD" will be out in December.