Saturday, 21 October 2017

Saturday Movie Review: The Flowers of War

In 1937 China, during the second Sino-Japanese war, a mortician, John (Christian Bale) arrives at a Catholic church in Nanjing to prepare a priest for burial. Upon arrival he finds himself the lone adult among a group of convent girl students and prostitutes from a nearby brothel. When he finds himself in the unwanted position of protector of both groups from the horrors of the invading Japanese army, he discovers the meaning of sacrifice and honor.

Writers: Heng Liu (screenplay), Geling Yan (novel)
Stars: Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Xinyi Zhang 

Jin ling shi san chai (original title)
R | 2h 26min | Drama, History, Romance 
2011


My thoughts:
I watched this movie and then never wrote a review, and then I wanted to write a review, so here I am, way too long afterwards.

I seem to watch Bale play drunken people a lot, oh well, he does it well. He is just there in the background because the real stars are the girls and the prostitutes. The enmity between them at first, the friendship and the respect. 

This is a hard one to review. The brutality of the Japanese soldiers and the destruction of the town is staggering. All while Bale as the priest tries to protect those within his walls and claim sanctuary since he is a Westerner. But we all know that can not last....

There is also another story woven into this, a group of Chinese soldiers trying their best to fight the Japanese. But they are not many, they do not have a lot, but they fight.

A good movie that made me cry. But then I watched it when I was pregnant and all movies made me cry then. But then I also chose sad ones.


Friday, 20 October 2017

Audio Review: The Scotsman who saved me - Hannah Howell

A brutal attack on Emily Stanton's family has left her for dead . . . until she is found in the woods by a handsome stranger with a thick brogue who vows to protect her. There's only one problem: As a woman with a noble English background, she has no business keeping company with such a man. For Scotsman Iain MacEnroy, Emily's high-tone accent is a bitter reminder of the oppressive regime he left behind. The last thing he needs is to be burdened by the needs of a beautiful, blue-eyed Englishwoman. But taking care of elegant, educated Emily begins to transform Iain in ways he never imagined. Could it be that the deep divisions from the old world no longer apply in the new-and that Iain and Emily can share a passion as lush and wild as the Scottish highlands themselves?

Audio CD, 8 h - Published September 26th 2017 by Tantor Audio - Seven Brides for Seven Scotsmen #1 - Historical romance - For review

My thoughts:
Quite the beginning with Iain and his brothers finding a burned cabin and dead bodies inside. And everyone is so calm with the violence cos sadly it could happen. But yes it starts with a bang.

Emily's sister and brother in law are dead. And what is she now to do? Well luckily she was saved by a sexy Scot who is all kind and nice and brings her to his home. Emily was a survivor and determined to succeed. She may have been gentry but those days are over. I liked her, she had a good head on those shoulders.

Iain hates the gentry since he is Scottish and they sadly kicked out a lot of Scots. But American is the land of dreams. At times I did wonder about things, in listening it comes across as weird at times, I wonder if it is like that in print. He never did ask, just always went for it, and then there are her thoughts. I guess I wanted her to be more yay kisses and more. Cos now it seemed...weird. Which it is so not meant to be. They are swept away by lust, aren't they always.

There is something more but I do not want to spoil it all. The danger that is after her. What happened to her sis and brother in law and more...danger.

And then there is getting a glimpse of all his brothers, and they all seem lovely and I hope they all find love.

Conclusion:
Scots in America. Scots are needed everywhere. A nice romance

Narrator Justine Eyre.
I did like her voices, but a woman can never make a Scot sound as sexy as a man can...nope ;) But I still enjoyed her male and female voices. Her voice for Mrs ONeill was perfect, a totally no nonsense matron.

Listen to a sample


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Audio Review: Spells and Sorcery - S Usher Evans

You have magic.

One sentence, three words, four syllables. Enough to change my life forever. And I'm not talking about the whole spells and sorcery thing.

Lexie Carrigan thought the weirdest thing about her was she preferred watching documentaries and reading the newspaper to reality TV and Twitter. But on the eve of her fifteenth birthday, her aunt and sisters drop a bomb--she's magical.

Now the girl who never made waves is blowing up her nightstand and trying to keep from wreaking havoc on her school. When a kind stranger shows up with all the answers, Lexie hopes he'll be able to help her control her newfound powers. But Gavon may not be as kind as he seems, and soon Lexie finds out that being magical is the least weird thing about her.

My thoughts.
At first (well a long time) things did annoy me. Like why was her sister such a bitch! Trust me, such a bitch, that girl needs a slap in the face. And why couldn't they just teach her magic? And tell her things? For the love of magic tell her stuff! Also everyone So over reacted. Chill people, chill.

BUT, in the end there was a reason why they did not teach her and tell her everything. Though I still felt they could have chilled a bit and told her some. Though why her sis was a raging bitch beats me. Lexie was also really immature, I mean who starts spending time with some old man they just met? Girl, haven't you watched movies?!

Still it was light and I kept wondering why they did not spill the beans. What was up with that? What was up with the secret...I can't say? I needed answers and fast. And at the end I did want more. I am still curious how things will work out when things are out in the open. Some major twists and turns there.

I also felt it refreshing that at least in this one she did not even once think about romance! Phew.

Narrator:
Hmm, is it the author herself? Nothing on GR.
But she does a good job and her voice fits that of a teen who is way over her head ;) Its light and nice
I enjoyed listening to this book

Audible Audio, 7 hours
Expected publication: December 22nd 2017 by Sun's Golden Ray Publishing (first published October 4th 2016)
Lexie Carrigan Chronicles #1
YA, paranormal
Own


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Audio: Grave Ransom - Kalayna Price

Grave witch Alex Craft is no stranger to the dead talking. She raises shades, works with ghosts, and is dating Death himself. But the dead walking? That's not supposed to happen. And yet reanimated corpses are committing crimes across Nekros City. Alex's investigation leads her deep into a web of sinister magic. When Briar Darque of the Magical Crimes Investigation Bureau gets involved, Alex finds herself with an unexpected ally of sorts. But as the dead continue to rise and wreak havoc on the living, can she get to the soul of the matter in time? 

Audio CD, 9 h
Published October 3rd 2017 by Tantor Audio (first published July 4th 2017)
Alex Craft #5
Urban fantasy
I received this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

My thoughts:
My memory was a bit shaky. It was 1,5 years since I read book 4. My memory was shaky in that review too as the space between book 3 and 4 was 3 years. And that is why you have reviews! I also never felt lost for a second, the author is good at that.

I used to be so Team Death, quite sad, it seemed the time between book 3 and 4 changed that, and now again it changed. He is just so distant, and he is obviously dead. Not the best boyfriend material. Sorry girlfriend but you can do better *coughs Faelan coughs*.

Alex is a grave witch, she can speak with the dead, she can raise their shades. She know things about the dead that others do not. She is also Fae and learning about her new abilities. But she is not equipped to deal with zombies or what on earth are crawling around Necro at the moment.

Luckily she has friends, a distant boyfriend *hmpf* and a pesky agent that wants her help. She may not be physically kick-ass but she can do other things. And I like that, her powers leaves her so depleted that she goes blind. Not that that is a good thing! But it makes her human *wink wink*. 

Conclusion:
I enjoyed this adventure and I am hungry for more.

Narrator Emily Durante
I think it was a good thing there was some time between my last visit to this world. Because after 4 books in print and then suddenly one in audio, well I might have had my own idea of her voice. But like it was now, Emily's voice is Alex and she does her well, and everyone else too. Though Death did sound very grim, oh the puns keep rolling off me today.

It was also my first audio UF and I like it. It works really well.

Listen to a sample


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