Bleu Reviews: A Discovery of Witches

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It begins with a book recommendation and a purchase

It begins with a TV show and a binge session

It begins with a discovery of witches … book review

 

Rating: 5 out of 5

I am kicking myself for not having read this book sooner. I originally heard of the All Souls Trilogy  back when i worked for a company that won’t be named because they don’t sponsor me. LOL.

My coworker, another book fan soul sister recommended I check out the series. I made sure to buy all three of the books in the series and added them to my collection, TBR and c7e7739a729e409a46fa5fe50cb8aa4f328589467160928262.jpglong list of books I’d been planning to read.

I’d even attempted reading the book on two separate occasions the last of which was a month long maternity leave when I couldn’t be bothered to do much of anything, especially reading.

This year however, I made it my first book of the reading season and despite a shaky start while trying to find time to read with a growing toddler attempting to crawl everywhere, I picked up a rhythm and finished the book in about three weeks.

Alchemical historian and Oxford resident Diana Bishop, descendant of the Salem Bishop’s has shut herself off form her magic. Until she requests a not so ordinary book from the Bodlien library one day.  This book, Ashmole 782, will bring a host of magical creatures she never expected to socialize with and unravel a secret engrained in the fabric of her life…and then there are vampires.

My first impressions of the book…

I absolutely loved this book. At it’s core it’s a pretty standard formula. Matthew is the tortured hero who falls in love with our female protagonist. That Matthew follows the tropes of all vampires is a bonus, he is brooding and secretive with a killer temper, but 20200115_124316.jpghe loves fiercely and his love for Diana though sudden is unbreakable. Diana for her part plays the typical female lead in a YA love story, though she possesses great strength and abilities that rival those around her, she is fearful of her power, spends most of the book being coddled and cared for and only begins to step into her own towards the final stages of the story.

It usually annoys me while i’m reading, and I won’t lie some of the ways Matthew condescended to Diana and left her out of things irritated me a lot. However, Harkness did something few people have dared to do form what I’ve read. She gave Diana her strength back.

The best part of the story for me was “watching” Diana go through a literal transformation. At the start of the book she is completely closed off from her magic. Her past fears and an unknown spell only allow her to do tiny tasks like grabbing a book or fixing the washer. By the final pages Diana is hopeful of what she can do with her d33bfe4e23d3e4982f9b79fb20fdf4a7945846634189835100.jpgpowers and is able to control them to some small degree.

I do frequently enjoy a good vampire love story and Matthew and Diana’s forbidden love gives me all types of squishy feelings.  Their relationship mirrors that of mixed race couples during the civil rights era. Simply because they are different they are forbidden to be together and by defying this law they are putting themselves and their families in danger. They will do it for LOVE. The fear some of the characters have for their children and the support Matthew and Diana get from friends, family other people who are like them is reminiscent of the real life struggles mixed couples faced.

It’s great when a story has a deeper meaning. As a person of color, whether Deborah Harkness intended for this to be the theme or not, what stuck out most for me in this story were the ways it portrayed the downside of generational racial inequality and prejudice. Matthew and Diana are two different races of creatures and because of that they are forbidden to be together.

In a society where the hierarchy of magical creatures places value on lineage and supernatural ability Witches and Vampires are at the top and Daemons are at the bottom, Daemons aren’t even allowed to congregate together.  The way Harkness developed the society and culture of the characters in the world of All Souls is one of my favorite parts. I absolutely love a well built world.

The characters in the A Discovery of Witches  really moved the story along for me. I’d watched season one of the tv show beforehand so I was able to actually envision the cast for the first few chapters. Once I really got into the story though, the characters became more alive and no longer seemed remotely close to the way the actors portrayed them.3a956443b3e15ec5a9e1f9c7e43d8fb26087554198723611023.jpg

Diana can be annoyingly meek at times but has a resilient spirit. Her dedication to Matthew is on the one hand the stuff of feminist nightmares while the relationship as a whole draws you in. I root for this old fashioned chivalrous relationship despite being completely aware that he patronizes her and lies repeatedly. Because he’s a vampire? At one point it gets so annoying in the book I physically rolled my eyes. He eventually comes to respect her after she nearly dies trying to save his life and frequently blames himself for not being able to protect her. Even though she doesn’t seem to be able to protect herself either. Matthew’s decision  to aide her in learning her magic wins him brownie points in my book. His cute little French pet names for her makes my heart go fuzzy.

The way magic, magical creatures and the supernatural are sorted in this world is why A Discovery of Witches  is becoming one of my favorite series to read. Harkness took the c0ce585322590a49e08b7290e633998e901557597508079403.jpgconcept of the magical community and broke it down in a way that I’ve often thought about for my own writing.  Vampires long since believed to be “dead” are merely beings with an alternative metabolism that slows their heart rates and reserves energy. The term, sleep like the dead, was used as the explanation for why people thought these beings were in fact deceased.

Experiencing magic through Diana’s eyes as she finally learns to wield and control it is what kept me reading through the book. More than I wanted to know how the lovers would fair against their adversaries, more than I enjoyed meeting each new character that showed 9c005c70f2392849b97d083135c169496164085333605234820.jpgup at Sept-Tours and later the bewitched house in Madison. I enjoyed the magic and the history that was entertwined within the magic.

I guess that’s my reasoning for why I’m shirking my 2020 TBR and jumping right into Shadow of Night. I’ll be reading this along with a few shorter e-books I’ve promised to review from some lesser known authors so keep your eyes on the blog for a lot of new content.

My goal at the start of my read was to complete the first book of the All SOuls Trilogy  before season 2 of A Discovery of Witches started back on BBC. As I was checking my email this morning, sneek-peeks of the cast of season 2 are just being released, so I think I beat my deadline.

 

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What Was Your Favorite Part of A Discovery of Witches?

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

My Netflix Addiction: 13 Reasons (Season 2)

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Netflix is bring back all my favorites.

I hadn’t realized that I’ve been waiting for this to come back but it definitely is here with a season 2. I’ve made my speculations clear last year, Season 2 could always be 13 Reasons Tyler shoots up the school, 13 Reasons Bryce Walker became a rapist, or 13 Reasons Jessica ends up a teen mom, instead (to the credit of the writers) Season 2 of 139419853d73e67dbfaf6130e629298341-12012781997.jpg Reasons  was all about the bullying case Hannah’s mom started at the end of Season 1.

In season 2 we learn more about Hannah than we originally expected. As the novel 13 Reasons wasn’t a series I wasn’t really sure what to expect. A TV show dealing specifically with a toxic culture of bullying has several seasons in it waiting to be written. The writers behind this show are brilliant.

This season delves deeper into the lives of our 13 main characters while they prepare to testify in the trial of the year. As a mysterious assailant harasses those intended to testify for the prosecution, polaroids begin fb9589db74c7b808ee9ecd6a8d93480499788819.jpgappearing hinting at a deeper conspiracy no one was ready for.

Each of our characters find themselves forced to deal with their truths, a word that gets thrown around a lot considering no one really has the whole story. Klay may be having a psychotic break but Justin definitely has a bigger issue. Like the drug dealing stalker who’s after him and another monkey that seems to love jumping on his back.

Cliche’s aside there is quite a bit about the show that you can guess. Not sure what I mean re-read the intro paragraph. The end of this Season left Justin asking, “What do We do now?” and honestly after having watched it myself… I gotta say, I don’t know. But I definitely didn’t see that coming!

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You had the weekend! Did you Watch Season  2 of 13 Reasons?

Leave a Comment Below!

 

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

My Netflix Addiction: Dear White People (Season 2)

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Are you guys ready for another semester at Winchester? 

By now we’ve all  marathon watched Season 2 of Dear White People and I’m thrilled… so we can all finally chat about the after math of the not-so-peaceful, peaceful protests. Season Two covers secret societies, the blending of dorms and even a mystery — Who burned down Davis Hall.

Despite that I spent most of season Two trying for the life of me to remember who in the hell Thain was, only to rewatch season one and remember (R.I.P.) Like most college shows we dealt with serious topics.

To abort or not abort my baby,  the discovery that the world doesn’t revolve around you and a student body coup. There was lots of sex this season and I had to ask myself, “Am I gonna vote for Troy?”

The emergence of a Black Illuminati, the recovery and culprits behind the disappearance of Sorbet and a serious death lets you know Season 3 is officially taking way too long to be written I need to know MORE!

 

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What did you think of Season 2?

Leave a Comment Below!

 

 

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

#ShowsWeLove:Passions

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Would you believe me if I told you that I’ve watched soaps?

Not a lot of them and in fact there has only been one soap in particular that I ever watched consistently.

Passions Cast 1999Passions however was the one show I obsessed over as a teenager. It took the concept of soap operas added some witchcraft and had me hooked.

Interestingly enough, I found it on YouTube and discovered a Passions Couplesfew things about the show and myself…

For One, I didn’t watch nearly as much of the show as I thought I had. Looking back on it all I’m not even sure how I convinced myself I’d watched most of it since the show originally aired in 1999 well before I would’ve sat down to watch it.

In fact I didn’t actually start watching until late in 2004 when a broken foot had me couch-ridden for a few weeks.

Passions Full Cast 2Since starting the show from the beginning a month ago, I manged to make it to episode 205 of the 2,331 episode series. I started for the Theresa/Ethan, Chad/Whitney story-lines but suffer through the terrible writing for the shenanigans of Tabitha and Timmy and the chance to see the exact day the characters I recognized came into the cast.

The show follows the lives and loves of the Lopez-Fitzgerald’s, Crane’s, Russell’s and Bennett’s; four prominent families in the lush New Passions Full CastEngland town of Harmony. The show is very much blue collar vs white collar with your standard mix of lust, drama and intrigue.

One of the first things I noticed is that I had no idea who most of the cast was. Apparently the cast I grew to love and root for are the replacements for the originals. The Russell’s remained in tact except for Simone who went through three alterations before the show ended.

Theresa, Luis and Pilar were there from the beginning but the Ethan I knew hadn’t taken over the role until 2002. Each episode is around 30 mins long or so, and has been playing consecutively in the background of my life.

What ThrowBack Show Have You Been Catching Up With?

Leave A Comment Below!

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

 

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Check out the series from the beginning here!

 

#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

#ShowsWeLove:OUAT Reboot 

Not many shows survive a reboot. The old fans are just way too attached to the original cast to care about what new story you’re trying to tell. Change the day and time and you’re basically letting the world know you’re about to cancel the show.

So no wonder we all trembled in fear when half the cast of Once Upon A Time quit and the show time moved to Friday’s at 8pm. 

We start this season with a jump to 18-year-old Henry heading through a portal with Regina bidding him farewell. He and a very flustered looking Cinderella are rushing headfirst towards each other on a strip of road in a “New Realm”

Henry is much older now and we understand that this will be a new version of the show entirely by Henry’s farewell to Regina, “There are dozens of stories across the world but I’m the only me” I’m paraphrasing obviously, but it prepares you for when you see another Cinderella.

A fact I’m still on the fence about. On the one hand a reboot means you can do whatever you please however, I vaguely remember Cinderella being one of their first stories.

This new spin with Cinderella as Henry’s true love and the Evil Stepmother as the villain (a great choice btw) definitely let’s us know we’re not in Storeybrooke anymore.

Recycling the first episode of the series is a risk. I’m not sure if I like it yet. Henry as the “true believer” doesn’t seem to believe Lucy very much very a la Emma if i do say so myself. 

Grown up Henry is a blocked writer who hasn’t been able to write anything since his debut Once Upon A Time. He’s surprised by a little girl claiming to be his daughter. 

Sound familiar?

Apparently Hyperion Heights is the new version of Storeybrooke, where everyone is trapped without magic. The neighborhood is being gentrified scattering the original (Storeybrooke) characters across the world. 

In fairytale land Henry was roofied  by a menacing looking Alice who seems to be working for Rumple. Her warning to Henry was that he wasn’t in his story. Yet he and Cinderella seem to be destined for each other.

I wonder what happens to Violet that Cinderella us his true love?

The episode ends with a promotion for our favorite neighborhood Captn. Hook who gets teamed up with Rumplestilitskin/ Weaver. 

Roni/Regina decides to not sell her bar to the wicked stepmother Madame Bellfrey.  Her triumphant monologue pans through the city while we see the slight change in each of our characters.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

Operation Glass Slipper is a go!

#ShowsWeLove – Criminal Minds Episode 16 -DEREK


This episode was all about the power of the mind. After Morgan is abducted, he goes to his happy place to avoid the pain his captors will inflict on him.  As they torture him on the outside, Danny Glover a.k.a Derek’s father, guides him through the inner workings of his mind. The BAU is on high alert having one of their own snatched. The kidnappers who have him are working on waking him from his self-induced coma. Morgan however, is trying to figure out why his father is his spirit guide.

His father of course replies that he could be there to help ease him to the other side, help him hold onto life or help him figure out how he ended up on the other side of a BAU kidnapping case. As Derek has a flashback to (Nov 7th, my bday) mini Derrick watches his father getting gunned down while trying to help a woman being mugged.

After a touching emotional break through, his father advises that the men who’ve kidnapped him want to break him and to hold out for them to make a mistake. His father promises to stay with him and even helps him attempt a daring escape waiting until he’s been untied to make his move.

The neighbors have no news on Morgan but Garcia discovers that the CIA has abducted Derrick. While J.J. calls in a favor, Morgan actually wakes up in the cabin, having successfully murdered his captives, he tries to gather himself. Stealing clothes, a cell phone with no signal and a knife. Morgan gets to take a little revenge while interrogating the ring leader.

The plan was for him to have never been found!

Stranded in the cabin and badly burned he tends to his wounds and returns back to his father inside his mind to endure the pain from mending the red phosphorus.  A few more painful memories and Morgan and his father are joined by Garcia who uses his brain as her computer and CMS11 - 1116_ Derek - Promo 10helps him figure out that he was abducted by torturers and when he regains consciousness he discovers the one man he left alive has a phone and has called for help.

The UNSUB swallows an important part to the phone and we fade to commercial as Morgan screams the question we’ve all been trying to figure out…

Why are they doing this and who wants Chocolate Thunder buried?

criminal-minds-season-11-episode-16 MorganIn SAW like fashion, Morgan has to dig through the man’s stomach to pull out the sim card only to find the phone has a password.  His father comes to calm him down and they get back to the case. In one scenario he died in the cabin, he never has a chance to say goodbye. His father snaps him out of it and Morgan redials the last number dialed on the SAT phone.

The team heads in his direction and he and the mystery man on the phone have a pissing contest while they triangulate his signal. Mystery terrorist assures Morgan he’ll be a corpse when the BAU actually finds him. He did arrive first, but with 13 minutes left in the show and a surprise pregnancy, we just knew Morgan was making it to the next episode.

That was until he flat lined on the operating table. A touching father son moment and Derrick is shuffled back to the mortal coil where both his lovely ladies were sleepily waiting. Savannah hadn’t had a chance to tell him she’d been pregnant because fresh from his real coma he ruined the surprise. Now that he’s been knocked around a bit and  she’s knocked up, he finally proposes.

 

Final Question: Why Morgan and what did they want from him? Guess we’ll have to find out in two weeks

 

What did you think of tonight’s episode?