Where The Wolves Read

A blog where I review mostly books. I also review, if my appetite allows, movies, music, and video games. Enjoy the feast!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix)

Where the Wolves Watch: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Disclaimer: I have read through this entire series a couple of times. When the TV show was released, I re-read the books as they corresponded with the episodes.

Review: If you're looking for a series where kids go on an adventure and are back home with their parents at the end of the day, or a series where there is love and frivolity until the end of days, you should look for these more pleasant things. I, myself, have been quite invested in the Baudelaire children for quite some time. As a young child, I was fascinated with the horrendous things that take place within the pages of these books. When Netflix decided to make a TV show of the Baudelaire children, I was appalled. Why would a company as well known as Netflix make a mockery of such tragedy? Unfortunately, the show exists, and so does my continued heartbreak for these children. The first segment of the show follows the Baudelaires as they are put in the loathing hands of Count Olaf. The most despicable man of all time. Count Olaf is already a rubbish actor, but his performance was somehow out done in terribleness by the equally frightening Neil Patrick Harris. I quivered with fright as these two men became one and Count Olaf was brought to life once more. Patrick Warburton did a passable rendition of my dear Lemony Snicket. I desired nothing more than to jump into the screen and help him with the Baudelaire children. Let's speak about the children. The horrors they have experienced are indescribable. They were threatened and almost murdered numerous times. They have a commendable will to live that is unlike anything I've ever seen. They are truly special children. Sadly, that is not enough to keep them away from the upcoming tragedies. Now, I have learned Netflix is not done with the Baudelaire children. They plan on exploiting their pain for another season. Possible two more seasons. I will continue to watch for research purposes, but I implore everyone else to pry their eyes from the horrors within this series. I'm going to talk with the very favorable dissenters and see if there is anything we can do to keep Netflix from continuing this travesty. Good luck, Baudelaire children.

5/5 miserable howls

Friday, February 17, 2017

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Original Creator: The Book Archer

1. Name a popular book series that you didn't like:

Twilight will always be my answer to this question. There are other books in series I hated more than Twilight, but I've completed the Twilight series so I felt it fit this question better than other books. I will say that I've grown a lot since I read this series. So, while I still hate these books, I can appreciate that they are the reason why the YA genre has grown to what it is now.

2. Name a popular series everyone seems to hate, but you seem to love:

Obviously, Vampire Academy has its fans, but lately I feel like people have been dragging this series. I feel like it's because they don't like Richelle's more recent books, so they feel the need to crap on VA as well. This series ended years ago, and the ending STILL sticks with me. I bought The Last Sacrifice the week it came out and loved everything about it.

3. Name a love triangle where you didn't like who the main character ended up with:

I'm not going to have the "Team Gale" or "Team Peeta" conversation today. I don't really have a preference between either of the guys, because I wish there was no romance at all. I get why it was there, but I still didn't like it.

4. Name a popular book genre you rarely reach for:

My two least read fiction genres are probably contemporary and historical. I've included pictures of books in both of these genres that I've read and loved, and The Book Thief is my favorite book of all time. So, clearly, reaching out of my comfort zone can be a very, very good thing.

5. Name a popular book character that you do not like:

Jace from The Mortal Instruments series. I hate him so much. I probably would have enjoyed this series a lot more if he wasn't a part of it. Oh well.

6. Name a popular author you can't seem to get into:

I had to read Ender's Game for two separate classes in college. This is supposed to be OSC's big novel, but I didn't really like it. The story was fine, but I couldn't get past Ender starting the novel at the age of 5. Plus, I just didn't like him as a character. I enjoyed the side characters, but not Ender. For the record, no OSC's personal beliefs had no part in my disliking of the novel. I'm pretty good about separating the author from their work.

7. Name a popular series you have no interest in reading:

I remember this series making its rounds when the NA genre was starting to take off. I heard it started as One Direction fanfiction. I don't have anything against fanfiction, but I don't like One Direction. Plus, I'm not really in the space to read a rocker romance blah.

8. Which book-to-movie adaptation is better than its source material:

I know this book has controversies surrounding it. As someone with disabilities, I honestly wasn't too bothered by how ablest the book was. Of course, I can see how people would be bothered, so the criticism is definitely necessary. I was really quite bored with this book. I didn't find it that compelling compared to other contemporary books I've read in the past. I did enjoy the movie. It might be because the movie sucked a couple of hours out of my life versus a few days. It could also be because I had a previous fondness for the actors involved. It was a solid adaptation so if you're curious, and you aren't bothered by the ablest tendencies, watch the movie. Skip the book.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Review: The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

Where the Wolves Read: The Sculptor

SummaryDavid Smith is giving his life for his art—literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding  what  to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn't making it any easier! 

This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of the world's greatest city. It's about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life…and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into great fiction with a breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable new work. (Goodreads)
Review: The Sculptor follows David who is a struggling sculptor who makes a deal with the devil. In doing so, he gains the ability to sculpt whatever he desires. David was interesting to read about and I found his struggles to be easy to relate to. Except for the conversation with Death. I also appreciated that David still struggled after he struck his deal. Death didn't give him an incredible ability and David was suddenly set. There was plenty of conflict to keep the story moving. There were side characters that David interacted with throughout the story. One of them was Meg. She reminded me of people I knew in my real life which was interesting. I've never had that experience with a graphic novel. She is quirky and fun, but she has her own demons to fight off. There was a specific scene between her and David that I really appreciated, but I'm going to let you guys figure that one out on your own.

The art was incredible. I've only read one other Scott McCloud book, Understanding Comics, but that was structured completely differently from The Sculptor. The drawings were beautiful and realistic. Then there is the artwork associated with the sculptures David creates. Every piece was unique and striking. The struggle for identity that David goes through in the book hit especially close to home for me. The Sculptor is a big book, but it is definitely worth checking out.

5/5 howls

Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: Erased (anime)

Where the Wolves Watch: Erased

Summary: Growing up, 28 year old Satoru has always suffered from "revivals" where he will jump back in time 1-5 minutes and have to fix some tragedy. After a series of events, his revival takes him all the way back to his 10 year old self. Through this, he takes it upon himself to solve a series of kidnapping/murders that occurred in his town.

Disclaimer: I have only read the first volume or so of the manga, but I've watched the anime in its entirety. 

Review: This series gave me so many feelings. First of all, let's talk about the characters. Satoru was an interesting guy and I appreciated how the revivals were already a part of his life before the story initially begins. It gives us an idea of what kind of person Satoru is without being an info-dump about revivals. I can't talk about specific side characters without feeling like I'm going to spoil certain aspects of the story, but most of the characters felt thoroughly explored and fleshed out. I will say, some of the kids 10 year old Satoru interacts with feel a bit more mature than I would have expected, but overall this didn't pull my attention away from the story. 

Now, for the actual story. The story in Erased was absolutely beautiful. There were so many heartbreaking and encouraging moments for the adult characters as well as the children characters. Of course, it wasn't perfect. On a personal note, I sometimes have a hard time with stories about people trying to fix mistakes and save another person's life. That being said, I enjoyed that this story had a thriller aspect to it, versus a strictly sappy storyline. One thing that I'm torn on was the length of the story.  When Satoru goes back to his 10 year old self, we find out there were 3 children who were kidnapped and murdered in his town. A large part of the anime's story focused on only one of these children. Part of me wishes they gave the other 2 children a bit more of a story. That being said, I'm not exactly sure how they would have been able to pull that off without the story becoming repetitive. That was probably my biggest gripe throughout the series, but it didn't diminish how much I loved the show. I will also add that I found the ending a bit predictable. I'm curious to see if other people were blown away by it, but I saw the ending coming from the start. Still, I would highly recommend this for anyone. It's short enough so, if a person doesn't frequently watch anime, they will not be intimidated. It's also griping so anime veterans will have an enjoyable time following along with this story.

5/5 howls

Additional: Have a video of AmaLee singing an English translation of the ending and opening songs from Erased

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Long Time No Post

Well, hello there. I have not posted anything on here in a hot minute. I thought I was done doing text based reviews. I was going to try to upload video reviews on my youtube channel for a variety of reasons, but that didn't pan out. I might revisit this idea later but, for now, I'm going to try to get back on text reviews. I miss doing reviews and discussing things I liked and disliked about certain books. So, here's oping I manage to get back into this.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

SummaryHeaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.

But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.

By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they’re determined to keep the banner planes flying.

Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.

Review: Such a Rush is the first Jennifer Echols book I've read and it certainly won't be the last. The fun thing about this book for me is that it is set in South Carolina, and guess where I live? Yep. South Carolina. I don't have a lot of pride in SC, but it's always fun for me to read a book set here because I can visualize it better. I liked the characters well enough, but none of them stood out for me. That's probably the biggest problem I had with Such a Rush. Leah is a great main character and I enjoyed reading her, but I didn't relate to her until closer to the end. I loved the interaction Leah had with Mr. Hall, Grayson, and Alec. It's always interesting to see a family with different perspectives like that. Even though they were all part of the same family, they all had different things driving them. The story was neat. I wasn't sure how I would like it because I don't know much about planes (and by much I mean I don't know anything about planes), but the story wasn't a bunch of pilot speak. I remember seeing a lot of love for Such a Rush when it first came out, and I understand why. This is a really cute book. I can't wait to add more of Jennifer's books to my library.

4 howls

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Harken by Kaleb Nation

Summary: After surviving an assassination attempt, teenager Michael Asher discovers that he is at the center of a worldwide conspiracy reaching higher than any earthly power. A supernatural organization desperately wants him dead. He doesn't know why. Everyone who might have the answers has already been killed.

Tumbling into a web of international secrets, Michael is forced to fight back and dig up the truth. He begins to question how much of the world is truly as people are led to believe it is. Are there things that humanity is not being told? Who is the puppet master? And how far into the maze can he venture before he is lost forever?

Review: I was super excited for Harken to be released, and it was worth it! Michael was an excellent character. My only big flaw with him is his attitude. He made statements like, "I'm never wrong" and similar ones too. That's all well and good, but it made him sound full of himself. If he said, "I haven't been wrong yet" or something similar, then I would have liked him more. He wasn't my favorite character, but I liked him well enough. I have a three-way tie for my favorite. Alli, Thad, and Callista. Their attitudes were superb. I smiled every time I saw them on the page. Of course, since I have three favorites, I'm expecting there to be a lot of hurt in the next book. Authors are mean like that. *glares at Kaleb*

The story was great! I was nervous/excited to see how Kaleb does in the YA genre, and I think he did a great job. The beginning of the story moved along very quickly which I loved. The fact that Michael's birthday was a big deal and only in a matter of days made the beginning of the story move fast. *I don't think this is a spoiler* That being said, it did seem like everyone was making a big deal out of Michael's birthday. When it actually happened, it seemed to be more of an afterthought. I was expecting something more dramatic to happen. I don't know how I feel about the priest swearing either. Don't get me wrong, Harken isn't laden with swear words, and what is in the book is done well. I've seen religious people swear, but I've never seen a priest/pastor do it though. That's the only thing that felt off to me while I read Harken. I think that's the only criticism I have of Harken. I absolutely recommend this book!

5 howls