Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days by Brian K. Vaughan

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“It may look like a comic, but it’s really a tragedy.”

— Brian K. Vaughan, Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days

    Set around the year 2000, Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days concocts a New York city politics-filled drama mixed in with a dose of realistic superhero vigilantism. Writer of countless renown series such as Saga, Y: The Last Man and Paper Girls, Brian K. Vaughan offers us the story of Mitchell Hundred as he randomly lives through a freak accident that presents him with never-before-seen superpowers. This volume collects issues #1-5 and gives us a glimpse into the origin story behind Mitchell Hundred and how he went from being a simple civil engineer to The Great Machine to the Mayor of New York City. Albeit a throwback to the early 2000s, this volume succeeds in capturing the atmosphere and social dilemmas that troubled NYC back in the day. The story also does a wonderful job in presenting readers with a protagonist who’s not exactly special in any way possible and who’s core personality remains genuine and unaltered, even when he’s gifted with powers.

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Strange Fire by Tommy Wallach

MY RATING : ★★/5 

Wow quel plaisir ! That’s what I screamed to myself on my couch when I finish this book. It’s probably one of my favourite dystopian novel of the year.

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The overall plot of the book is between two brothers Clive and Clover. One is eighteen, has to be an adult and bears new responsibilities as a man and the other is one of the smartest in the family, recruited by The Library as a young age and has a big interest in knowledge. But knowledge and science are not welcomed in this society. Their family have been on the road to spread the message of The Daughter, worshipping a religion who forbids the thirst for knowledge. But as they travel together, both brothers discover a few things that don’t make sense, series of events that may reveal to them as the dark truth behind their father’s doctrine. Continue reading

Blackwing by Ed McDonald

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“I don’t like things that don’t make sense. Not until I’ve put a knife in them.”

— Ed McDonald, Blackwing

    It would be a mistake to overlook this book. Ed McDonald’s debut novel, the first book in The Raven’s Mark series, is a phenomenal piece of literature. It glows with fiery passion and an inhuman mastery of creativity. There wasn’t a single moment to take a breath as it held a tenacious grip on my attention to the point of chocking me with fast-paced action. Blackwing is a beautiful and sinister fantasy story. Its ability to create a wonderful and unique world is astonishing and bleeds with a desire to seduce you into the mind of Ed McDonald. Reading this felt like the work of a genuine mastermind who’s penmanship has went through hell and high water. Forget about soft clouds and pretty rainbows. Blackwing will show you misery and demise melded around hope, reason and humanity. This novel deserves so much praise and absolutely needs everyone’s attention. So what are you waiting for?

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Blade Runner 2049 – Movie Review

MY RATING : ★★/5

After reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K.Dick , I immediately wanted to watch the famous movie by Ridley Scott, Blade Runner. I’m sorry to say but that first movie of Blade Runner was pretty disappointing for me. I fell asleep man.

While I feel like the first movie didn’t deliver, Denis Villeneuve (Montreal REPRESENT 😀 ) makes an impressive move with the sequel, Blade Runner 2049. This movie at least, was very loyal to all the values and ideas that the Phillip K.Dick wanted us to understand.  It’s all about finding our own place in the world, to belong to someone or some cause.

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A clear narrative construction, this movie depends a lot on the plot and DAMN it was a good one! Director Denis Villeneuve has passed along a clear message to all the early reviewers to not spoil anything for the audience to discover for themselves, I’m going to respect that and say that tis movie is worth diving into it. All the characters, their interaction and how they are connected to each other is a masterpiece.

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On top of that, this movie has one of the most beautiful scenery and imagery I’ve ever seen. Playing with textures, lights, objects, creating an elegant design. This was always the tour de force of Denis Villeneuve but he really went above his limits and gives us a delightful eye-candy experience. There was a scene in the end that I  find very genuine,  it’s how he uses lighting to distinguish the emotions in the conversations. Switching from lights to shadowing each feature one by one.

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Everything from the music to the holograms, a beautiful dedication to Ridley Scott’s world while managing to have a strong script, a premise that questions the most controversial topic of all the AI and cyborg technology. The movie finally makes us feel something. Makes me feel attached to the characters. All that experience was possible thanks to the amazing background music, the cinematography and the marvellous acting of Ryan Gosling. Yes the movie was mostly about him. Nevertheless, all the side characters were pretty on point too.   Continue reading

Most Anticipated Releases in October

Hi everybody ! Trang’s back with another listopia posts 😀 I’ve spent a few hours reading about all the books coming out this month (so I can ask my family what books I want for my birthday *muahhha*) and I wanted to share with you my most anticipated releases ! So if you are looking to read some new books coming out this month, this post might help you 😉

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The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman : The author of Golden Compass returns for a trilogy prequel to Northern Lights series.  “La Belle Sauvage, is set 10 years before the events of His Dark Materials, and the rest of the story takes place 20 years after that: in fact, 10 years after Lyra comes home to Jordan College after her adventure in the Arctic at the end of The Amber Spyglass.” – Penguin Random House

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng: Thanks to my fellow bloggers for making me discovering this new book with an extremely original book cover (SEE PICTURE BELOW). Reviews are calling it a gothic fantasy tale.  This is one of the time where the cover completely thew me off and making me want to read the book ! Continue reading

Provenance by Ann Leckie

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“Oh, almighty powers, what had she just done?”

— Ann Leckie, Provenance

    All rise as bestselling author Ann Leckie enters the court with her new novel ProvenanceAfter her greatly appreciated Imperial Radch trilogy, kicked things off with Ancillary Justice, the author brings us this brand new space opera story filled with politics for fans to rejoice at. In Provenance, the story follows a young woman, Ingray Aughskold as she takes great means to get her hands on something that could help her make a name out of herself in her family. It doesn’t take long before you realize that her actions are risky and could put her in a sticky situation if not handled properly, especially if things don’t go exactly as she planned it. But when do things ever go as we plan, right? As you follow her around you’ll come to be submerged into a whole universe that takes a life of its own in a matter of seconds. Provenance is far from being anything like some of the debut novels out there. This is the work of someone who’s been there and done that.

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The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin

MY RATING : ★/5 

Honestly, if this wasn’t a book given me by a publisher, I wouldn’t review it for the world to see. I would’ve kept it to myself. I don’t know if I’m the only one in this but… I have those few VERY SUPER favourite books, so good, that mentioning it someone else would ruin its magic.

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It’s like the very existence of the book can decipher so many realities, so many questions that I’m selfish enough to want to keep it for myself. But as abook blogger, I have a duty here and it is to share my readings after all !

So here it is : an amazing book that has completely changed my perspective on life and on science. 

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Liu Cixin started out with this great concept: the three-body problem. It’s a physics problem that a lot of mathematicians and researchers try to answer FOR A LONG TIME.

“The problem of calculating the motions of three bodies in space moving under the influence of only their mutual gravitational attraction”- The Dictionary 

But if the author only wants to describe the problematic, it would be boring af for the readers so he articulates a whole premise around it and in the end we have one of the most brilliant science fiction story ever told in the modern area. Continue reading

Brother by David Chariandy

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“But most looked the way you do when you’re being studied unfavourably. When you’re being watched but also trying to see.”

— David Chariandy, Brother

    There are novels out there that are strangely tagged fiction for simply being the result of someone’s imagination. This one however strives to show you that even fiction can break through its walls, goad its readers, and make us wonder if it isn’t a true story. Brother tackles on the story of Michael and Francis, two kids living in a Scarborough housing complex right in the heart of Toronto, Canada, in 1991. Weighed down by the expectations of their Trinidadian immigrant mother, these kids face countless obstacles in various forms and come to see the struggles they live with amplified by their cultural background. Their lives however bifurcate as they each find their own ways to get by under the pressure of their situation. Veiled in a stunning prose that sticks to the necessary details, Brother succeeds in telling a moving story about immigration, family, identity and society.

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Frostblood by Elly Blake

MY RATING : ★★/5

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

I enjoyed this story so much! I saw a lot of negative reviews on Goodreads and a lot of them were complaining about how the plot and story is a stereotypical YA Fantasy.

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I mean, aren’t they all…?! They say that the plot is very similar to Red Queen but then again, Red Queen was very similar to other books as well but we don’t mention that huh ;P At least here we don’t find some Fifty Shades of Grey vibe where the main character falls for some jerk who likes to torture her…

Anyways,  I guess this is one of the times I have to disagree with the overall opinion and give this book a good rating 😉  I actually like Ruby for who she is: smart, rebel and likes to question everything.  Yes there is some insta-romance but her relation with Arkus is pretty enjoyable to watch. Since the day he starts to train her, they actually have to struggle and deal with their differences. Doubts, trust issues that are realistic.   Continue reading

IT – Movie Review

MY RATING : ★★/5

I’ve always been sceptical with horror movies, because one I haven’t seen a good one yet. Two, I saw a horror movie once and it was spanish, that was one of my best experiences In my opinion and my own definition of horror, I’m sorry but American horror movie do not come even close in the horror section compared to Japanese, Thai or even Spanish. However, I was curious about IT movie and its phenomenon.

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AND…It was really good, not because it was a horror movie, it was very good because it was the perfect suspense and thriller movie. But according to the screams on the movie theatre, I think the horror side was on point.

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What is IT about? Basically Stranger Things with a lot more suspense and OMG-SCREAMING moments. 

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We have these children who are bullied by the tough guys and they are forming their own Loser’s Club. But Billy, one the boy has his brother disappeared a few years ago and is even more sensitive since there are a lot of children disappearances these last few days. While no adult in town would do anything, the kids are starting to see some hallucinations about strange things, supernatural and on top of it, a clown.  Continue reading

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.”

— William Golding, Lord of the Flies

    Them kids are crazy! William Golding really does dig deep into the soul of children to extrapolate human nature and all its ugliness. You’d think that children would be safe from all the evil that men are capable of. Let him tell you a story of kids surviving a plane crash and being stranded on a island. You’ll be convinced by the end of this one that there’s nothing pure and innocent in life when your life is at stake. With very little experience and only adults as a reference, these kids can only attempt to reproduce the safety of reason and the comfort of structure. Lord of the Flies is a story that will take these children deep into the wilderness, alongside the lush green trees and wide blue skies, and leave them with the colossal task of finding a way back to their lives, or even a safe path out of their predicament. However, this island has other plans for them. Can these boys come out of it all unscratched or stained by the vile behaviours that resides within us all?

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Warcross by Marie Lu

MY RATING : ★★,5 /5

Maybe because I loved The Young Elites trilogy too much that I had very high expectations for this one.

Marie Lu returns with a promising action-packed adventure of Emika Chen in the virtuality world, where she has to go through some struggles to hunt down the players who bet illegally on the game.

Untitled-2I guess if she stayed on the plot, where we follow a desperate teenager with 6,000$ in debts trying to hunt down the illegal players it would be a little bit more twisted and dark. However, what I feared the most had happened 10 pages into the book.

THE LUCKY MAIN CHARACTER SYNDROME.

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Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

MY RATING:★★★,5/5

I’ve been on a really good reading ride lately, my last reads were always 4 or 5 stars and they were all ARCs (Advanced Copies) which is surprising because I tend to give a 3 stars average when I’m binging on ARCs. I guess Fall is starting well for me 😉 

I just loved everything about this book, but the one thing I was completely head over heels was the novelty of the theme. 

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This novel is narrated by Jojo, a child who has to take care of his toddler sister Kayla while dealing with his drug addicted Leonie, and a mysterious sinister grandfather, Pap. When you start reading the book, you can feel the dynamic of the family. It’s very unique and disturbing at the same time. But as you read and turn the pages.. there’s A SUPERNATURAL SIDE that I found absolutely brilliant!! I really don’t want to spoil what it is but let me tell you it’s one of the times that make you wish you had read more about sorcery and African traditions.

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The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

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“This is something I know: no matter how far you have run, no matter how long you have been lost, it is never too late to be found.”

— Rene Denfeld, The Child Finder

    Every once in a while you’ll come across a novel that’ll succeed in doing the impossible. For me, Rene Denfeld’s latest novel The Child Finder does exactly that. After her successful and mesmerizing debut novel The Enchanted, she now continues to tackle similar themes through a mystery thriller like none other. There are subjects in life that will always remain grim and unbearable, but then there are authors out there with a never-before-seen skill with words who will find ways to charm and maintain a relentless grip on you while tackling some of the darkest and most painful incidents that could occur in the lives of some. The Child Finder is my first sighting of a book that harmoniously brings together the beautiful and the horrible this year. Through raw and magical writing, Rene Denfeld offers us a hypnotizing look into what entrapment, survival and redemption is all about. There’s nothing pretty in the world that she disentangles for us, yet she still somehow manages to tinge this story with warmth, light and hope. This is a story that strives in showcasing the very foundation of human survival.

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Zero, Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast [Blog Tour]

 

MY RATING:★★★.5 /5

 

He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.
Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.
His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.
Until a human kills her…
Sixteen year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.
Shelter in place.

Alright, guys this is one of the hardest reviews I’ve had to write. Because the only aspect that makes this book bad, is also one of those that makes this book awesome. See how confused I am? LOL And that is, the pace.

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It’s slow. I mean very slow. I’m not a big fan of slow building plot and even less when it has the same vibe as The 5th Wave. However, this slow pace is also a nice add since it allows us to really contemplate the collapse and deterioration of the world. This same pace also enables the reader to really connect with the characters and for the first time, it takes half the book before the main characters meet each other.  Continue reading