Bleu Reviews: Mirror, Mirror

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Rating: 3 out of 5

Gregory Maguire is still one of my favorite authors but Mirror, Mirror is sadly one of my least favorite books by this author. It’s tragic because I really wanted to love this book as much as I love much of his other works. Mirror, Mirror wasn’t a poorly written book but it definitely didn’t inspire me to read on.

As far as his body of work goes, the same tools and tricks he uses to craft and ensnare us with his other stories are utilized here. Maguire infuses reality and history into a fairytale as old as time itself, while finding a way to draw forth a deeper moral to the screenshot_20190124-220719_chrome4007441423460780054.jpgoverall concept, making us look closer at our childhood bedtime stories.

This time however, I found the story weighed down with too much historical context. This time around I felt sequestered on an island. It dragged on like the years Vicente spent in prison. I too was trapped, between my desire to finish the book and my inability to completely buy into the history lesson.

Maguire’s retelling of the Grimm’s classic Snow White, takes us to Montefiore. A luxurious farm nestled high above the rolling hills and valleys of Tuscany and Umbria. We meet our main character, seven – year – old Bianca de Nevada and her doting father Don Vicente.

Vicente is sent on a religious quest by the unscrupulous Cesare Borgia and his sister, Lucrezia leaving innocent Bianca at the mercy of the two wicked children of the corrupt political family.

96700515d6979b8a8e4dc940e9856c4f6444981157864553769.jpgSnow White’s tale has always been about purity and innocence and this version was no different. Maguire’s Mirror, Mirror added another layer of depth toying with the theme of influence and how influence can effect and alter another’s existence.
We saw how the influence of Pope Alexander VI shaped his children and led them ultimately to their demises.

How Vicente’s influence kept Bianca on Montefiore, how Primavera and Fra Ludovico were able to protect the young girl with whatever little influence they had. How Bianca’s mere presence was enough to change the dwarves.

We watched the transformations of each main character in the book as the story crept on at it’s snails pace. The intention seemed to be to give context. Snow White’s was a slow systematic manipulation at the hands of Lucrezia. A years long evolution in what seemed like a chrysalis stage ending the final if not abrupt emergence as a fully physical formed young woman, gullible but seemingly of age.

Vicente’s evolution was more a literal withering of his body and at times his mind. He remained determined to her back to his daughter despite the challenges he’d faced.

Lucrezia Borgia’s evolution was more a literal transformation, when we are introduced to her she is at the height of her power both physically and politically but gradually falls away. In time Lucrezia’s own vanity strips her of everything and her relentlessness drives her to her death.

Maguire’s interpretation of Snow White showed a young girl who was always isolated. Shyer than most, she possessed a curiosity that was often outweighed by her meekness. I rooted for our heroin to some day be rejoined with her father but even more than that I fc624855b3c17871e57bfcfe49791c892177338806584808463.jpgrooted for our heroin to save herself.

This Snow White didn’t seem like the main character at all. The action happened around her or to her but never as a direct result of her. In fact the entire catalyst of her story was in reaction Cesare Borgia and not the young girl directly.

This may be why the book dragged on for ages. It took me about four months to finish reading it in its entirety, partly because I knew how the story would end. I wasn’t waiting for some great plot twist or any alterations to the basic story line. There was instead a more pensive waiting to see how the author would unfold the common tropes of Snow White.

His delivery though overwhelmed with backstory and scenery did not disappoint. We witnessed Maguire masterfully craft the magic mirror, then shatter it’s magic with science before shrouding it with myth again. Maguire unpeeled the layers of the queen’s depravity and her spell-craft and even gave meaning to the high position the apple screenshot_20190124-220930_google2242974854855260815.jpgplayed in the story. The apple which has always been a symbol of purity and wisdom. A religious scion to relate to, a means of temptation especially when paired with the feminine mystique.

Maguire’s apple served as not only a means to begin the story but a common thread tying all the tales loose ends together. The apple which once tempted Eve in her garden drove Lucrezia to insanity and murder. A nod at how even the semblance of influence is enough to alter one’s behavior.

Overall I did enjoy the book. I’m rating it 3/5 because I wouldn’t force myself to endure it a second time but definitely would recommend reading it if you’re a fan of Maguire’s books. If you enjoy a good fairy tale or like adult adaptation’s of children’s stories than this book is great to add to the list.

For me I get to scratch it off my Gregory Maguire bucket – list and move on to my new read.

 

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What Is Your Favorite Snow White Re-Telling?

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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Book Con 2018

I’ve been  super excited about Book Con 2018. I almost forgot about it completely but I’m happy I was able to be in attedance. It was an amazing two day weekend and I plan to cover more of the details on Friday’s episode of the Podcast. I also wanted to do some form of BookTube video to show proper appreciation to all my free swag.

For now I put together a brief-ish video for all to see, please check back soon for more of the wonderful that was my BookCon weekend. Also be sure to check out my latest review for Circe… which will be up later today.

Coming Soon! Fahrenheit 451

One of my favorite novels by Ray Bradbury, and featuring my On – Screen husband (he don’t know it yet, but we’ve been dating since Creed and made it official after Black Panther) Fahrenheit 451 is coming to HBO! Check out the trailer!

#ShowsWeLove: Charmed Reboot

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I am the sun,

I am the air,

I am human and I need to be loved,

Just like everybody else….does.

I was obsessed with the Halliwell sisters as a kid. Originally airing in 1998, Charmed, was a fantasy-drama starring Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano. I am a huge Alyssa Milano fan and a show involving her and magic was exactly what I needed.

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The show ran for eight years finally ending in 2006 after several battles against darkness and once each of the sisters was married with children. I was crushed to see the show end, but happy they buttoned it up so nicely.

Possible talks of a reboot, sent images of Wyatt and Chris

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returning with children of their own, or perhaps even Phoebe and her children (as she was the only one to have a trio of girls) swirling into focus. Though as the CW began finalizing details about the shows reincarnation, all hopes I’ve had of seeing the Halliwell bloodline continue have been dashed.

Instead the headlines have been checkered with news of a new feminist twist, the Halliwell name being converted and the cast getting a new Hispanic twist. I was afraid that what we’d get was a watered down version of the original we loved. But the CW promised:

“This fierce, funny, feminist reboot of the original series centers on three sisters – Macy (Mantock), Mel (Diaz) and Madison (Jeffery) — in a college town who, after the tragic death of their mother, are stunned to discover they are witches. Soon this powerful threesome must stand together to fight the everyday and supernatural battles that all modern witches must face: from vanquishing powerful demons to toppling the patriarchy.”

No offense to the hardworking staff on this show but with the exception of adding a lesbian to the trio the concept seems very similar to the original Charmed. Madeleine

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Mantock, Melonie Diaz and Sarah Jeffery have been cast as the new versions of the Halliwell sisters though their last name will no longer be Halliwell.

This will be the first television inception of Charmed since the show ended in 2006, but the series had been a comic book following it’s shows end which brought back Prue and

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continued on the Halliwell bloodline. That series also ended in 2012 leaving a new breed of diehard Charmed fans.

Echoes of Prue, Phoebe and Piper are clearly visible in the recreations of the new sisters. The eldest sister, Macy, a veritable Prue clone is described as “practical, driven, and brilliant geneticist.” Also like Prue, her world is most affected by their witchy secret. Mel, the middle sister who also happens to be an outspoken activist and lesbian is very different than Piper (Like a Piper/Paige mix) and finally The youngest sister, Madison, played by Sarah Jeffery described as a “bubbly college freshman” who’s witch business occasionally muddles her sorority girl aspirations.

I’m not completely against it, but i’m a little worried that they’re going to ruin a classic. Hopefully, the show’s move to the CW as well as new writer’s will add to the franchise instead of staining it.

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What are your thoughts on the reboot? Leave a comment Below!

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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's New Pussycat: Literacy Programs (Books Through Bars)

fb_img_1520964442251555898774.jpgI started Blu Moon Fiction in order to share my passion for books and writing. I’ve been fortunate to work with some pretty respectable charities in my time as a result, which has fostered my interests in starting a few of my own as well as supporting the ones I work with presently.

Every Tuesday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm a few kind souls gather together and send some books to individuals in need. Books Through Bars, an all-volunteer non-profit organization helps the community while striving to reverse the devastating effects that injustice and incarceration has on individuals, families and communities.

What interested me the most in this group was their book distribution programBooks Through Bars, sends free books and educational materials to prisoners in; Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. The books are sent to anyone who asks, as long as their prison accepts books.

Books Through Bars also hosts Address This! an education and empowerment project providing innovative correspondence courses to individuals incarcerated in Pennsylvania. Address This! pays special attention to the participation of prisoners in address thissolitary confinement or maximum security, who often have little access to such educational options.

Through their community outreach, strives to educate the general public about prison issues. The organization has sat in on panels and staff tables at community events to raise awareness around prison issues. Books Through Bars has also hosted a film festival, read-a-thons, as well as various public conversation on alternatives to prisons

The group is responsible for affecting thousands of lives, from the organizations recipients across the US down to the volunteers who’ve dedicated their time to make a difference. fb_img_1520612713256858056820.jpg

The group gathers most of its books from donations and is always looking for more, I decided to do my part by hosting a Read-Olympics and Book Drive on behalf of the program. Blu Moon Fiction will also be selling a fantasy art calendar featuring local talent. With 10% of the proceeds going to this organization right here.

If you’d like to donate your time as well as a book or two. Books Through Bars;  holds weekly volunteering, Tuesday nights 7:30–9:30 PM. But if you’re in the area on a weekend and would like to also volunteer you can also do so on the 1st & 3rd Saturday of every month.

Which Organizations Do You Like To Support?

Leave A Comment Below!

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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’s New Pussycat: Literacy Programs (Books Through Bars)

fb_img_1520964442251555898774.jpgI started Blu Moon Fiction in order to share my passion for books and writing. I’ve been fortunate to work with some pretty respectable charities in my time as a result, which has fostered my interests in starting a few of my own as well as supporting the ones I work with presently.

Every Tuesday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm a few kind souls gather together and send some books to individuals in need. Books Through Bars, an all-volunteer non-profit organization helps the community while striving to reverse the devastating effects that injustice and incarceration has on individuals, families and communities.

What interested me the most in this group was their book distribution programBooks Through Bars, sends free books and educational materials to prisoners in; Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. The books are sent to anyone who asks, as long as their prison accepts books.

Books Through Bars also hosts Address This! an education and empowerment project providing innovative correspondence courses to individuals incarcerated in Pennsylvania. Address This! pays special attention to the participation of prisoners in address thissolitary confinement or maximum security, who often have little access to such educational options.

Through their community outreach, strives to educate the general public about prison issues. The organization has sat in on panels and staff tables at community events to raise awareness around prison issues. Books Through Bars has also hosted a film festival, read-a-thons, as well as various public conversation on alternatives to prisons

The group is responsible for affecting thousands of lives, from the organizations recipients across the US down to the volunteers who’ve dedicated their time to make a difference. fb_img_1520612713256858056820.jpg

The group gathers most of its books from donations and is always looking for more, I decided to do my part by hosting a Read-Olympics and Book Drive on behalf of the program. Blu Moon Fiction will also be selling a fantasy art calendar featuring local talent. With 10% of the proceeds going to this organization right here.

If you’d like to donate your time as well as a book or two. Books Through Bars;  holds weekly volunteering, Tuesday nights 7:30–9:30 PM. But if you’re in the area on a weekend and would like to also volunteer you can also do so on the 1st & 3rd Saturday of every month.

Which Organizations Do You Like To Support?

Leave A Comment Below!

18278814_1365002003583016_5668521729679719793_o

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