What We’re Reading: Children of Blood & Bone

 

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Rating: 4 out of 5

This is actually a slightly different review than what I posted on GoodReads but only because I’ve had some time to marinate on the book as a whole and I usually write my GoodReads review immediately after reading.

I’d really give this one a 3.5 but that’s still basically a 4.

The cover is gorgeous of course! The striking colors against the mottled black background share glimpses of red behind an opaque pitch; obscured by the shocking white of Zelie’s hair, scarves encircle the crescent of her forehead. Reminiscent of Storm from X-men, the young woman’s dark skin gleams from the cover, traces of tribal markings can barely be seen dancing around the edges of her steel gray eyes, calm but focused peering back at you.

Again, I love the overall concept of the book and Children of Blood & Bone  by Tomi Adeyemi, has a magical structure I can’t wait to see unfold. There seems to be elements to the story that indicate bringing magic back may have consequences no one was ready for. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with the foundation she has set for us as the audience.

With that being said though,

Maji ClansI decided to read this along with a group and TBH, I must admit we all had the same kind of issue. If the main character was a girl you knew you’d probably have the “chill sis” conversation with her around page 348.

Some parts of the book were VERY predictable and it was easy to see where the author was working you for the sequel. As a rule of thumb, a novel in a series should be a complete story that fits snugly into a larger one. There are parts to this novel that feel like canyons we need to jump over to get through the book.

At times this book read like a harlequin romance novel. I’ll let you read it to find out which parts. 😉

Overall, I did thoroughly enjoyed reading it. There’s been so much build up around the book I was determined to scratch it off several TBR’s. It discussed cruelty and injustice that people experience when a government is against them. Touching on the civil unrest we (POC’s) experience today. The Author’s Note in the back goes a bit farther into Adeyemi’s feelings fb_img_15263592354151235954168.jpgon the historic and continued mistreatment of people of color and what really motivated her to write the book. 

*Side Note: The book has been getting critical acclaim by celebrities and press. With the help of  ICM Partners, Adeyemi landed a near seven-figure movie deal with FOX for her series as well as secured a pretty impressive publishing deal that recently closed with Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, making this 23-years-old first time author very wealthy. *

With all that buzz, at times I really had to consider if my opinion of the book was because I wanted to like the story or if I genuinely liked the story. Most days there was a mixture of both, but by the end of the book, I was certain of a few things.

As I said in my review of Song of Blood and Stone when magic is involved their are often only two outcomes. Those with it use that power to lord over those without or Those without it persecute those with it. In this instance those who should have it have been stripped of it and are still treated like vermin.

The thought and effort put into the history of the maji’s  was intense. The history of Sky Mother, the Gods and the 10 Maji clans is something I’m looking forward to exploring as she continues the series. The rituals, artifacts and language of the Maji was very believable. The history behind the royal family once revealed was also interesting, but I do wish to know more about what went awry that caused Saran’s “first family” to be murdered. 

So often is magic described as this never-ending thing, to think of a world in this sense where magic can and has been temporarily barred and the battle to return it is also what makes the book so captivating. I also really enjoyed all of the artwork associated with the book, that includes the names of the narrators, but, especially the world map in the beginning, I always love a good world map.

My favorite thing about this novel would have to be the characters, if Adeyemi did nothing else she developed the four main characters into tangible beings. Each person had a strength they didn’t realized they’d possessed and a vulnerability they were dsc_14621308978600.jpgdesperate to hide. The progression of the story exposes the weaknesses of Zelie, Amari, Inan and Tzain while challenging them to evolve into better stronger people or to perish beneath the weight of their doubts. The inner turmoil each character must overcome to truly fight for a better Orisha has been the most titillating part of the novel, at times it is the book’s saving grace.

I didn’t really care for the names of the animals there was no real difference between a Lionaire from a Panthenaire and a Gorillion is just a gorilla in my book. It seemed like a missed opportunity for the author to create creatures that truly added to the world they were in. The “Ryders”, are this world’s main source of transportation and the beasts are as involved in the story as their human counterparts. Yet they weren’t original nor were they that clever. They were merely the lackluster adjustments of existing animals. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the way the chapters were broken up, in fact at times some chapters were only three pages with no shift in narrator, a real distraction for me occasionally.

The book was a quick read  once I got into it, lasting it’s standard 4 days for it’s 500+ pages. Animal names aside, the language was also insightful as it taught me rudimentary Yoruba. The book seemed as true to facts as possible regarding the Orishan deities and their gifts. The clans as evidence of the Gods will was also a nice touch. Totally looking forward to the next installment. 

Though as rumors of the story now being stretched into seven books and the progression of the “fandom” takes hold I only hope this truly ends up being like Hogwarts and NOT like Shadow Hunters.

 

For more info about the Children of Blood and Bone movie click here.

 

 

What did you REALLY think about Children of Blood & Bone ?

Let me Know in the Comments Below!

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

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What We’re Reading: Dickmitized

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Rating: 5 out of 5

Before I fell in love with fantasy I was hardcore into Urban Fiction. There’s something about the realness of the stories that I could connect with but also some of the things I read were far stranger than any magical world I’d ever dreamed of. My passion for books as a whole has brought me to meet amazing authors, like Justin Q. Young, who was kind of enough to autograph my copy of Dickmitized after a cafe discussion one weekend.

My TBR pile back then and presently is through the roof, but fresh from reading Song of Blood and Stone. I figured 166 pages of something, “different” might pull me from the verges of a slump.

…And it did.

I definitely wasn’t expecting to find the story THAT interesting, yet still found myself rocking on the edge of my seat wondering what Josiah would get himself into next and 20180425_0943181700222862.jpghow he’d bounce back from the messes he’d created.

It was a fascinating tale of sexual conquests. A point blank perspective into the psyche of a womanizer and the women he frequents. There wasn’t much flowery language, I didn’t feel like there was a mood being set entirely. Josiah’s exploits are definitely vivid, if not at times a bit comical. Each chapter I found myself asking, do these things really happen in real life?”

I’m willing to bet that for some lucky men, it probably does. Having been a true blue “good girl” my entire life, I’m sure I wouldn’t know for certain.

My Favos: I absolutely love the story, yes I’m one of those people. The overall story was amazeballs. Womanizer goes for the ultimate goal of bedding two bestfriends but finds himself in waaaaaaay deeper than he expected. I’d read that all day.

Next I absolutely love the ingenuity of FHLIRT which I googled and is NOT  a real site. Though from the description in the book it totally could be. That was a creative twist to what could’ve been another braggy book about a bachelor banging his way through life. The site provided an added incentive, and make’s Josiah seem more like a sex addict than a mere man-whore.

The ending was a bit of a buzzkill. I seldom read stories told from a male perspective and Dickmitized is a lot more raw than my Zane novels; but, I must saw that as far as erotica goes it was definitely done tastefully. Not what I’d usually expect.  The main character was well-rounded and grew on you. It was a quick read, straight to the point. There are a few loose ends that I hope can be answered with maybe a pt. 6. The obvious rivalry between Josiah and Steve is something worthy of exploring as well as the true outcome in that game of Russian roulette.

 

 Have You Ever Been Dickmitized?

Let me Know in the Comments Below! 

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

What We’re Reading: Song of Blood & Stone

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Rating: 5 out of 5

We are dealing with jealous Gods again. One of my all time personal favorite things to read about are deities who’s temperaments mirror the societies who worshiped them. Why should this world be no different. Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope is the ultimate sibling rivalry spanning centuries.

The back of my book describes this story as a Tale of Romeo and Juliet meets Return of the King (Lord of the Rings reference?) I’m all too pleased to report that it reads true to the description. A tale of overcoming differences at it’s fullest. Song of Blood & Stone mirrors many of today’s injustices people of color presently face and without the adolescent suicide.

The Lagrimari, people gifted with EarthSong, are trapped at the mercy of a merciless villain who enslaves them and steals their most precious gift for his own depraved whims. They are shunned by their neighbors the Elsirans, who fear them after years of wars between the two sides.20180417_1857571116080946.jpg

A few of my absolute favorites! I’m digging the cover. Of course it’s partially blue but beyond that the cover just whispers ethereal and there’s a girl on the cover who looks like me, if you catch my drift? So i’m all for that. It looks as though the galaxy lies within this young woman which gets me excited for the story that lies beneath. This time you can totally judge a book by it’s cover. It is really as good as it looks.

I appreciated the fables that coincided each new chapter. It became a separate tale that both foreshadowed the chapters’ contents while also adding a richer layer to the overall story. We got to meet the spiders, jackals, horses etc. Which aide in most Afrikan folklore and further give in to the mythos of the world we’re reading about.

This book is really three separate stories in one; the superficial musings of the fables heading each chapter, offer a warning of what’s to come for our characters. The overall story of Jasminda and Jack who are thrust together in a whirlwind romance while trying to save the world as they know it; but also the underlying deeply woven backstory of Eero and Oola whom we wouldn’t have a story without. Their jaded history a monumental ripple that shaped the world Jasminda and Jack presently live in.

There are always two types of magical stories. Those where those with magic are in power, and the other where those with magic are scorned for their gifts. This was an interesting view at the latter.

Ironically in a time where people of color are openly mistreated based on their hue, Song of Blood and Stone explores the mistreatment of other persons of color gifted with a talent they are scorned for. Brainwashed by a mismanaged education of the past the Elsirians scorn the same people who’s gifts helped built the very city they stood on. The Lacrimari for their talents are forced to live in servitude or as peasants on the cusps of civilization. If not for the benefit of her mother Jasminda would’ve lived amongst those people. It would take the union of an EarthSinger and an Elsiran to unite the two worlds.

I absolutely loved the story obviously. A sucker for creative title headings again I cannot rave on enough about the fables to mark each new chapter.

Amidst a backdrop of war the love story of Jack and Jasminda unfurls. Despite her true heritage she appears to be Lagrimari and is gifted with EarthSong. She happens to share Elsiran blood which protects her from years of mistreatment in Lagrimar. However, her appearance means she is still treated like the Lagrimari. Jack doesn’t treat her the way she’s come to expect other Elsirans to treat her, and their romance seems for a time like a protective bubble against the harshness of their realities. His world soon crashes into hers and there is no going back.

I am all too excited about the ending of the book. I finished in about the time I figured I would and I’m hoping the next two books come out soon so I can get started on those as well. Apparently the sleeping Queen has many secrets to unfurl.

 

Have You Ordered Your Copy of Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope?

Let me Know in the Comments Below!

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Chicago Filmmakers Welcome Us All To the Shift with Paradigm Grey Premiere

I may be a bit late with this “news” but it’s still worth sharing. 2017 was the year people showed out in film regardless of what critics had to say about it.

Fresh from the success of “Get Out”, the first horror movie of our time with a black lead, Chicago based filmmaker Christopher Adams accompanied by other industry professionals are creating more sci-fi/fantasy projects with people of color in mind.

“I’ve always hated going to see horror, action or sci-fi films knowing that as soon as you see anyone of color on screen you knew they usually weren’t going to survive the duration of the film, or were just added as a footnote. It’s obvious some exec somewhere said we need to put a black person in there, and even then they paint those characters with the stereotypical brush to try and appeal to urban markets” says Adams CEO of IMPAKT STUDIO.

Paradigm Grey, a sci-fi anthology featuring titles like: Bloodlines, Reset, Outer Layers and Axis Mundi the project premiered Dec 2, 2017 to face reviews.

For now the project seems to be making it’s rounds at local film festivals and no word has been released on what new projects the group may be working on.

We’ll just have to keep our eyes open for more.



You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Weekly Wanna Watch List

This week’s list is coming to theatres however with the exception of a few horror movies I’ll be waiting for Netflix.

The Emoji Movie

I did hear they were considering this and even then I thought it was a joke. A lady knows when to admit she was wrong. Apparently Sony read the script and said “How could we not?”
What we get in return is the world of Textopolis, home of all emojis, each with their own singular emotion. Forever. That is until Gene. Gene is a “Meh” emoji  😧😒😕 I tried finding it and this is what I got. Either way Gene has many feelings and as a result it makes him weird.

(As if anything could be weirder about this story)

Gene ventures out with friends hi-5 🖐🏽 and jailbreak, together they journey through the phone and discover a great secret unrelated to their task that may endanger life as they know it.

The Emoji Movie was released July 28th and I’m still trying to accept that this movie was made.

Will you see it? Let us know in the comments below!

ANTI-MATTER

I was interested in watching this solely because of the trailer. Some say this is the feature length adaptation of a Sundance film known as Worm an independent film from 2016.

As a fantasy writer I can appreciate the work of our sci-fi cousins. That being said I feel like if I watch this movie I’ll be left feeling much how I was during Memento. Confused and annoyed.

We follow Ana, a  PhD student unable to create new memories after an experiment whe she creates and transports herself through a wormhole. She attempts to uncover what happened as well as who or what is terrorizing her.

It does sound interesting but my interests in wormholes is limited. I’ll be sure to catch it when it’s released for home viewing.

Will you be going to see Anti-Matter? Let us know in the comments below!

FALLEN 

Does anyone remember the movie Fallen, with Denzel Washington? I may be showing my age but I swore that’s what this movie was when I saw the title.

It is most definitely not! Based on the book series (currently housing 5 novels and a few novellas) Fallen is a romantic fantasy novel about….Angels.

We knew this from the title, because we’re clever. Luce Price is sent to Sword &Cross academy a boarding school for “special students” (special in this case means incurably insane but functional). Luce has just been released from therapy, as soon as she steps foot in the grounds she begins to discover Daniel Grigori and the love affair they’ve shared through the centuries.

The trailer gave me Twilight vibes when I first saw it but I’ll be buying the book series and watching the film’s to see how this plays out.

Will you be going to see Fallen? Have you read the books?

Friend Request 

It’s 2017 social media rules our lives obviously,  so it was only a matter of time before some horror writer made Facebook deadly. May I present, Friend Request. 

From the twisted minds of  Matthew Ballen, Philip Koch, and Simon Verhoeven. Friend Request is a supernatural psychological horror movie all about how deadly social media can really be.

Laura is a super popular college student, over 800 friends of Facebook with an active social life. She makes friends with campus loner Marina who takes the social media status as the real deal (we all know people like this) the friendship derails when Laura doesn’t invite Marina to her birthday party.

An act which causes an in person confrontation and the resulting suicide of Marina. Afterwarfd the social butterfly and her friends receive demonic torment from beyond the keyboard.

I am genuinely intrigued by this movie, check out the trailer!

Will you be accepting this Friend Request? 

Leap!

Finishing the list is the inspirational children’s movie Leap! Two orphans one an aspiring inventor whilst the other a gifted dancer. Ran away to Paris to achieve their dreams.

Be sure to take the kiddies to see this one!


The X-Men: Gifted

Saw a commercial for a new show called, “The Gifted”  apparently it’s  Marvels second attempt at a tv show to expand the X-Men franchise. So far the only actor i recognize is Coby Bell, Jason Pitts from “The Game” which makes me want to watch.  The show follows what happens when two “ordinary” parents take their family on the run from the government when they discover that their children have mutant abilities, and join an underground community of mutants who have to fight to survive. Maybe i’ll add this to my fall program schedule, “The Gifted” airs on Fox on October 2, 2017.

Deadpool 2 – Extended trailer

 

So as you all know i’m a comic book novice but i absolutely love my super hero movies! Deadpool being one of my many, many favorites I am hyperventilating over the upcoming sequel. Josh Brolin has been teasing pics of him in “Cable” costume and we’ve been fortunate enough to get trailers and photos on the regular. So while we wait for Summer 2018 here’s one of my favorite extended trailers.