Category Archives: Reviews

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)

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Shockingly Entertaining | Review of ‘Toxic’ (Pretty Little Liars #15)


By Cynthia Ayala

Toxic by Sara Shepard
HarperTeen
Image Credit: Goodreads

One A has been captured, but Alison is still out there, lurking around, stalking the girls. The police don’t believe them, and after the scandal, not many people are on their sides. These girls are going to have to rely on themselves and track down their tormentor, once and for all.

Published June 3rd 2014 by HarperTeen, Toxic by Sara Shepard is the second to last novel in her YA mystery/thriller Pretty Little Liars series.
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A Richly Layered Space Opera | Review of ‘The Dark Between the Stars’ (The Saga of Shadows #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson
Tor Books
Image Credit: Goodreads

It’s been twenty years since the elemental war tore through the Spiral Arm. Peace has all but become the norm for the inhabitants of the space. But now an old evil has seeped through the darkness eager to obliterate everything in the galaxy, leaving nothing in its wake. Now humanity must put aside all differences to fight this new foe from the darkness.

Published June 3, 2014, by Tor Books, The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson is the first in his new series The Saga of Shadows, a space opera spin-off of his best-selling series Saga of Seven Suns.

Continue reading A Richly Layered Space Opera | Review of ‘The Dark Between the Stars’ (The Saga of Shadows #1)

A Tale as Old as Time | Review of “Beauty and the Beast”


By Cynthia Ayala

Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline & Josh Gad
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Disney’s animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.”

—IMDB

A magical live action remake of the classic tale following Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the cursed prince. Needless to say—but it has to be said—this film had exceptional casting. Emma Watson has become an exceptional actress, taking on the part of Belle and molding her into something new. She was able to capture the essence of Belle from the original, the stubborn opinionated girl with dreams as vast as the eye could see. And her performance was breathtakingly amazing. She is Belle, there is no question about it. Then there is Luke Evans. God, what a wonderful Gaston he made. Much like Watson, he was the perfect person to take on this role, to sing the songs, the be the perfect narcissist.
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