Beautifully, Wondrously, Heartbreaking | Review of ‘Heartless’


By Cynthia Ayala

Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Feiwel & Friends
Image Credit: Goodreads

All Catherine wants is to be a baker and open a shop as the best baker in all of Wonderland. But at the time when the King is expected to propose to her, Cath meets Jest, the Kings new mysterious court Jester. Soon her curiosity blossoms into love and at the risk of upsetting her parents and the King, the pair enter into a secret courtship. But fate is a fickle thing, a dangerous thing that may tear Cath, and all of Wonderland, apart.

Published November 8, 2016, by Feiwel & Friends, Heartless by Marissa Meyer is a standalone novel that takes gives readers a fantastical new retelling on the origins of Lewis Carroll’s famed Queen of Hearts.
Continue reading Beautifully, Wondrously, Heartbreaking | Review of ‘Heartless’

Dull and Far Too Short | Review of ‘Dream Dark’ (Beautiful Creatures #2.5)


By Cynthia Ayala

Dream Dark by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Image Credit: Goodreads

When Link decided to join his friend Ethan Wate on a quest through the supernatural tunnels beneath Gaitlin, he had no idea how the whole adventure world affect him, let alone a bite from a supernatural which has left him changed forever.

Published August 2, 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Dream Dark by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl is a short story focusing on Link and his transformation into a Linkubus. Within the Beautiful Creatures series.

Link has always been an interesting character, made more for use of the comic relief and also for his rollercoaster relationship with Ridley. After his change, he became even more interesting as a half Incubus, more human than his bloodthirsty counterparts. Here is a short story that’s just a little too short as it focuses on Link’s transformation into a half Incubus.
Continue reading Dull and Far Too Short | Review of ‘Dream Dark’ (Beautiful Creatures #2.5)

Weekly Reading List #83


By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there avid readers! I hope everyone is having a wonderful day. I’ve finally found time to read! Yay! And I’ve found time to write and edit my novel. I’ve also even squeezed in some time for video games. All fun and games to balance out my word days. So check out my new reading list and see if anything here tickles your fancy as it tickles mine.

Image Credit: Goodreads

1. Dream Dark (Beautiful Creatures 2,5)

by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

“When Link joined his best friend, Ethan Wate, on a quest through a mysterious network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, he knew the journey would be dangerous. But returning home to Gatlin, South Carolina was just the beginning…

Wounded during a climactic battle, Link discovers that tending his injuries won’t be as simple as visiting a doctor and that healing his arm should be the least of his worries. For being bitten by a Supernatural does more than break the skin — it changes a person, inside and out, turning Link into someone more and more like the dark creature who injured him.\

In this never-before-seen short story by New York Times bestselling authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, listeners witness Link’s heart-racing transformation. Dream Dark is set before the much-anticipated third Beautiful Creatures novel, Beautiful Chaos, and as a special bonus includes an exclusive sneak peek at the first five chapters.”

Image Credit: Goodreads

2. Heartless

by Marissa Meyer

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

3. Mortal Heart (Beautiful Creatures: The Untold Stories #1)

by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

“Everyone in Gatlin has a story…

Before she met and married Mitchell Wate, the beautiful and brilliant Lila Jane Evers was an honors student at Duke University. Studying late into the night in the rare books library, she is captivated by a single line of text on an old piece of parchment: “In the Light there is Dark, and in the Dark there is Light.”

What can it mean?

Then one night, Lila Jane meets a mysterious young man who may have the answer. His name is Macon Ravenwood, and for every secret he reveals, he is hiding another. With Macon’s help, Lila Jane uncovers the wonders of the Caster world–the Light and the Dark. But a romance between the Incubus who is fighting his own dark side and this fiercely independent Mortal is doomed from the start. The closer Lila Jane and Macon become, the more her life is in danger.

Discover the unforgettable and untold story of how Lila and Macon fell in love in this all-new Beautiful Creatures novella from #1 New York Times bestselling authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.”

*Disclaimer: All synopsis are provided by Goodreads.

An Expertly Told Space Opera | Review of ‘Blood of the Cosmos’ (Saga of Shadows #2)


By Cynthia Ayala

Blood of the Cosmos by Kevin J. Anderson
Tor Books
Image Credit: Goodreads

Narrowly escaping destruction by the Shana Rei, the humans and the Ildirans align themselves in desperation, eager to find a way to destroy the Shana Rei. But with arrival of the Othos, beings that know more about the Shana Rei than anyone before. Yet around every corner there are shadows and villains seeking the destruction of all life.

Published June 2, 2015, by Tor Books Blood of the Cosmos
is the second novel by Kevin J. Anderson in his Saga of Shadows series, a science fiction space opera following the exploits of humans and Ildirans from the Saga of Seven Suns.
Continue reading An Expertly Told Space Opera | Review of ‘Blood of the Cosmos’ (Saga of Shadows #2)

Terribly Common Yet Fun | Review of ‘The Belko Experiment’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Belko Experiment starring John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley, Melonie Diaz, Josh Brener & Michael Rooker
Orion Pictures & BH Tilt
Image Credit: IMDB

“In a twisted social experiment, 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.”

—IMDB

This is one of those movies that is enjoyable, just as long as you remember to shut your brains off. The Belko Experiment isn’t an entirely unique or fresh take on the cliché story of putting people in a room and seeing who will kill to survive and who won’t. Battle Royale did it, The Hunger Games did it, and many more. This film is just another film on that list. Does that make it any less enjoyable? No, just as long as you just shut your brain off, otherwise you won’t enjoy this film at all.
Continue reading Terribly Common Yet Fun | Review of ‘The Belko Experiment’

Suspenseful & Thrilling | Review of ‘Life’ (2017 Film)


By Cynthia Ayala

Life starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare & Olga Dihovichnaya
Columbia Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.”

—IMDB

The alien in space movie is not new, many are failures, but others have become staples of the genre. Life is part of the latter. The premise of the film is about a team of scientists who have discovered life on Mars. At first, the creature is docile, but when provoked, the alien has entered monster territory, if only for its desire to survive. The problem is it doesn’t know when to stop feeding, creating a being that is incredibly dangerous. What makes it even more dangerous is how smart it is. It evolves, and with its evolution, it grows bigger. It’s a sinister being and the writers knew how to develop the creature, its needs and everything that made it dangerous.
Continue reading Suspenseful & Thrilling | Review of ‘Life’ (2017 Film)

Tons of Fun and Tons of Character, Power Rangers is a Must Watch | Review of ‘Power Rangers’


By Cynthia Ayala

Power Rangers starring Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston & Elizabeth Banks
Lionsgate
Image Credit: IMDB

“A group of high-school students, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities to save the world.”

    —IMDB

Sometimes Hollywood can remake our childhood, tapping into everything that made us smile. Power Rangers is a perfect example of that. The old show was always intended for a much younger audience, layered with a degree of absurdity and campiness that made the show so good. With the new adaptation, the movie capitalizes on the absurdity but without the campiness, a deeper level that the writers used to make the story more grounded for an older audience.
Continue reading Tons of Fun and Tons of Character, Power Rangers is a Must Watch | Review of ‘Power Rangers’

Weekly Reading List #82


By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there avid readers! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week and day. So much to do and so little time for everything that I need to do. But as a reader, I must read, so check out this latest reading list and see where it takes me. I’m already halfway through Blood of the Cosmos, but as it’s a 600+ page book, it’s going to take me a little bit to read with everything else going on in my life. But here’s what’s following it! Happy reading!
Continue reading Weekly Reading List #82

Promising Story Failed by Characters | Review of ‘Given to the Sea’ (Given Duet #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis
Putnam’s Children
Image Credit: Goodreads

Khosa is Given to the Sea, born to be sacrificed to the water for the Kingdom of Stille. Sacrificed by her own feet, a twitching within her that will drive her to the depths of the ocean. But before that, she must produce an heir, an act she is unable to endure as she is unable to endure the touch of any human. But when her village is attacked, Khosa flees to the heart of the kingdom, into the arms of Vincent, the third in line to the throne, and Donil, the last of the Indiri whose touch sends desire through hers. But with the land sinking, and enemies at the gate, Stille and Khosa are in bigger danger than they ever thought.

Published April 11, 2017, by Putnam’s Children, Given to the Sea
by Mindy McGinnis is the first in her new YA fantasy Given Duet series.
Continue reading Promising Story Failed by Characters | Review of ‘Given to the Sea’ (Given Duet #1)

The Perfect Wolverine Film | Review of ‘Logan’


By Cynthia Ayala

Logan starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart & Dafne Keen
Marvel Entertainment
Image Credit: IMDB

“In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.”

—IMDB

There’s simply no limit to the beauty this film has wrapped in all the swearing and gritty glory that defines Wolverine’s character and this film. Wolverine has not had an easy life, he has gone through so much and the writers knew just how to capitalize on the character, the Wolverine, and evolve the story for him. They took a risk, and they ended the story properly, they ended it in such a way that they gave closure to the character and his legacy in the X-Men.
Continue reading The Perfect Wolverine Film | Review of ‘Logan’

Bringing you the latest reviews on films & novels. – Cynthia A.

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