Books · Reviews

Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Illustrated Editionย 

Published by: Bloomsbury 

Author: JK Rowling

Illustrated by: Jim Kay

Review

  I feel that over my two years here my love for the Harry Potter series has been well document however recent stressers in my life have caused a resurgence of my Harry Potter usage (sounding a little like a smoker trying to quit here, however this is not an addiction I would ever give up!). The HP audiobooks are amazing tools for falling asleep too when you cannot get your brain to turn off. I also have amazing friends as they have managed to get some of these extremely difficult (& this is quite an under estimation of the ticket stalking process) to purchase ticket for the Harry Potter sequel theatre production, The Cursed Child next June. Which I will 100% blog because it’s one of the preview tickets – so early! Plus we are also prepping for this trip, 7 months in advance so hopefully it will mean some good costumes!

As part of this I recently purchased the new hardback, Illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! And it is simply gorgeous!

  

  Having created two children’s books through the completion of my masters I have had time to research a lot of children’s books, both written and illustrated. So I was extremely happy to see how the illustrations for this book turned out. I had heard about this book’s potential release a long time ago, and having seen the thousands of beautiful interpretations of the Harry Potter universe online, like those on Tumblr and Pinterest, and having followed the movies which were already visually beautiful, in my mind there were a couple of ways the illustrated edition could turn out.

  Firstly, illustrated books, like I just mentioned, being very closely associated with children’s publishing despite the growing adult illustration industry, i.e graphic novels and manga, could have been very ‘childish’ in style. Which in my mind this could be very daunting to adult individuals, like myself, who had grown up with the novels, but who could possibly be put off due to this style. Although I also realise that the diehard potterheads would enjoy it regardless in most cases.

  In a complete juxtaposition the style could have been too graphic, focusing of the older reading audience. Which could put off adults who want to introduce the books to younger readers or equally make it more difficult for younger reads to connect with the imagery.

  So I was genuinely so happy to see how they turned out when I saw the early sneak peaks which are even more glorious in the physical print. The paper quality is also REALLY nice (sad publisher issues). The illustration style is a happy medium making is accessible and beautiful without being childish.

  

This is one of favourite images from the book as they were able to capture an image I have always had in my head but have never seen, as this was an element of the book which wasn’t in the movie. The books use of imagery especially scenes which weren’t in the films is, in my opinion, why I am loving the illustrated edition so much and why it has been such a success. As it was difficult to imagine adding to the HP world, but this book and hopefully the whole illustrated series, has added to the visual ‘reality’ of the written books.    

  This is my last image but as you can see, it is a perfect example of how the illustrated edition has been able to expand our knowledge of the potter world. Not only illustrating the physical story/plot but treating the reader like a hogwarts student, educating you and allowing the reader to be fully immersed in the Harry Potter world. 

  I realise my photos genuinely aren’t doing this book, the quality and the imagery, justice. But I just wanted to share my thoughts and maybe inspire some Christmas ideas, because if I hadn’t bought myself it, it would have been an amazing gift to receive. 
Be back soon

Mwah, Maebhe x

Books · Reviews · Uncategorized

Review: BBC Radio4 adaptation of Good Omens

I have mentioned in recent posts about my new found love of audiobooks. Their convenience has allowed me to diversify my reading as well as rediscover old literary loves, from the Harry Potter novels through to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

This has resulted in a new discovery- the radio adaptation! My best buddy & literary adviser Sio, knowing my long running love of Neil Gaiman & my recent investigation into Terry Pratchett’s books (specifically Mort), recommended I listen to BBC Radio4’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s & Terry Pratchett’s collaborative publication Good Omens.

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And as always she was correct! I can honestly say that I have listened to this series (all 6 episodes) three times now & I am devastated that I will no longer be able to listen to them on my iPad – as to date they’ve been available on the BBC radio iPlayer but have just recently been removed. I had heard via Neil Gaiman’s Facebook that the book was being adapted for the radio however I missed it on the radio & didn’t think to search for it online- therefore I only discovered the series a week before it is removed from the online app.

Back to the Review: The adaptation was wonderfully done and is simply hilarious. I also own the paperback book however previously I had struggled to invest any interest in the topic or genre of this book, despite the written quality naturally imbedded by the very nature of its authors. A book on the apocalypse of Earth, control of which is in the hands of an eleven year old boy is simply not something I am interested in reading – although I do love the Supernatural series. But I have been completely converted! In a brief summary – the anti Christ has been sent to earth & is destined to bring about Armageddon- however the Angels and Demons who inhabit the earth don’t particularly want to leave & are rather comfortable. Therefore two very unlikely friends, the demon Crowley & the Angel Aziraphale join together in an attempt to stop the apocalypse from happening – during which much hilarity ensues. There are also some deep lessons hidden behind sarcasm & innuendo- from devil worshiping nuns who coo & count the “toesie-woesies” of the anti Christ through to Pollution replacing Pestilence as one of the Horsemen (Sorry…Horse-people, as War is a woman! And a seriously kick ass b***h,) of the Apocalypse after the invention of antibiotics.

One of my favourite quotes, although it’s minuscule in the overall plot, however Crowleys tone at being handed the anti Christ has had me in stitches;

Eternal….. Tool

The quality of this adaptation is even better than the audiobooks I have listened to, to date. The actors are all amazing & I may have a small crush on Crowley for his voice alone. The music (which includes a lot of Queen) & sound affects are also perfect for example the torturous screams we can hear in the background anytime Crowley rings Hell. Another of my favourite aspects of the adaptation is the overlays from the BBC radio presenters to talking about apocalyptic events in completely average conversation. From Gardens question Time discussing the consequences of Fish falling from the sky….

Well, I’m a keen rose grower, but my prize-winning Molly McGuire lost a
couple of blossoms yesterday in a rain of what were apparently fish. What
does the team recommend for this, other than place netting over the garden?”
— R.P.Tyler on Gardeners’ Question Time, Good Omens

Or those pesky Tibetans digging tunnels all the way through the earth,

“…now as keen gardeners know, it goes without sayin’ that he’s a cunnin’
little devil, your Tibetan. Tunnelin’ straight through your begonias like
it was nobody’s business. A cup of tea’ll shift him, with rancid yak butter
for preference…” — Gardeners’ Question Time, Good Omens

And finally this adaptation was made extra special cameo appearance of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman in the first episode as policemen, who sadly come to a tragic end soon after (eaten but a hellish creature from the sound of things).

I honestly couldn’t recommend this book/audio adaptation any more – full 10 out of 10. So If you get a chance to listen to this adaptation, the cd of which is available on Amazon or you could possibly find it elsewhere online, It is totally worth the time invested to listen. It’s also a great opportunity to investigate a new author or genre if you’re new to Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman.

Have you ever listened to this or any other radio adaptation? I would love to hear what you think!

Maebhe

Reviews

Warm Bodies: The Movie

Warm-Bodies-Poster-21
Okay I know not that long ago I put up my review of Warm Bodies the novel by Isaac Marion and It was a book that I really liked and was excited about seeing the movie because it looked like there was a lot of cross over with the book, but also that there was a lot more action scenes than there are in the book. Which I’ll be honest I have terribly tacky taste when it comes to my movies because I love action movies, like resident evil which created my mental image for all zombie related material through to the Die Hard movies (Yippee-Ki-yay Mother trucker!!) And I was something that I was kinda missing from the ending of the novel because I was really disappointed with the end of the book because it wasn’t even a cliff-hanger – it was more like non-existent, and it just kinda cut off. However I still really liked the book and I have hopes for the supposed sequel which according to goodreads should hopefully be coming out next year that if it comes a series/trilogy etc. that a lot of the questions I have will be answered.

So I finally got so see it with girls from my university & it was such a fun night. Now in regards to the movie – IT WAS AWESOME ๐Ÿ˜€ It literally had me giggling throughout and yes Nicolas Hoult is amazing as R. There were changes between the book and the movie within the first 2/3’s of the movie but most of these were pretty minor like R & Marcus’s age/appearance which had minor impacts on the over all story however I don’t think these impacted the movie at all, which is a lot coming from someone who is fairly nit-picky which it comes to the details in book-movie adaptations. Although the Heroine Julie is better in the book I think (just a little).
It was the last 1/3 of the movie which had the major changes and while in comparison to the books they’re ‘wrong’, when I was watching it – it was totally right and gave me the proper ending I was looking for in the book. It was filled with action which actually turned the bonies into a proper enemy, a proper answer in regards to R and other little things. But the romance element here was also amazingly well handled because the action scenes upped the tension and emphasised the difference the zombies. And again there so many funny moments throughout this movie and a lot of them a one liners, which seems appropriate for zombies ๐Ÿ™‚

So keeping this short I have to say this is a must see movie. Its got a great mix of comedy, Romance and Actions to cover a whole range of audiences. There’s even a little gore at the start so if anyone if thinking of dragging their significant other to see this movie that they can enjoy it too ๐Ÿ™‚ although I think guys would like this movie too, and just because there is a romance at its centre shouldn’t ruin it for the guys watching.

If yous go see Warm Bodies, tell me what yous thought and if I got this right?
Hope yous enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Maebhe

Reviews

Review: Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies #updated

warm bodies

Synopsis:

‘R’ is a zombie. He has no name, no memories, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead. Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can’t understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins. This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won’t be changed without a fight…

Review:

*Okay First please don’t do what i did and mentally go “A Zombie Romance??… & Stephanie Meyer likes it….Meh”
This was actually a really surprising and interesting book which I ended up really enjoying. But another signpost
Although I haven’t watched the movie adaptation yet, from the trailers alone I know that the movie has a different plot twist to the book. Because I saw the trails about mid-way through reading this book and got excited about what was coming up and then suddenly the book was finished and I kept expecting there to be more. The movie adaptation has clearly upped the tension with the action sequences near the end. The book is a lot more focused on the romance between R and Julie as well as its underlying focus on the importance on society and how people create society: Deep stuff ๐Ÿ˜€ I try but I’m not such a deep person when I’m reading for enjoyment. Plus I read this on the kindle & for some reason my brain switches to relaxed mode and all the my history/student brain turns off. Making me miss ‘intellectual’ plots or subtopics. ๐Ÿ™‚

Characters;
This actually accounted for my favourite part of the whole book. Unlike most zombie novels these zombie “R” developed a personality, which as it grew, only made him a more intriguing character. As for a zombie he sure did think a lot and about indepth things. Love, Life, Death…and the space inbetween.

However as is to be expected from a zombie novel this is nearly entirly based on internal monologues. The only slight issue i had with this was i kinda wanted more external monolgue with Julie. Because she was a really interesting character as well. Because one of my greatest hates/dislikes when it comes to YA novels…
*which this novel is classified as but tiny warning there is swearing and minor references to sex in it (which i will come back to).
…is faffish, stupid female characters. My gosh i just want to smack them up side the head.
But this wasnt Julie. SHe was fiesty and funny and strong willed. While still maintaining the approachibility of a normal girl (being courted by a zombie during the apocalypse).

Plot
Overall i really enjoyed this book but to be honest, without spoiling anything i was a little dissapointed with the ending. It was a little ‘p.g’ when i’d gotten excited from the trailer.

Hpwever overall the story follows R’s discovery and eventual love story. After meeting julie during a ‘human/food hunt’ he saves her from the others and brings her back to his airplane, where their relationship develops and R begins his transition as well as the chaos which ensues from these actions and changes.

I loved the airport location because the similarity of the situation because one of R’s favourite activities is to go around on the escalators when the power’s working.
Another totally minor aspect which for some reason made me laugh and oddly add a layer which made me think “if a zombie apocalyse ever was ever to happen this was so be real”, but the attempts by the zombies to have sex even tho their bodies are no longer capable the human desire for tactile contact with another kept them trying.

However ending did drive me a little mad, it left me needing soo much more. Because it didn’t really seem to end. Just cut off. But I have heard that there is supposed to be a sequel and im hoping that it will give me some of the answers im looking for after reading this book. (Goodreads is saying a 2014 supposed release)

Movie & Images
The movie is something i’m excited to see and in some ways i think i might prefer it to the book just because of the actions scenes.

And a final comment about the book. The beginning of each chapter has an anatomy image for a different body part. Even tho it doesnt really play a role in the plot i really liked the way it set up the feeling for each of the chapters and it helped keep that zombie feeling despite the lightness of gore in this book and the emphasis on the romance and R’s development.

Conclusion

SO i would recommend this book just realise that it is an inspiration for the movie although there does seem to be alot of cross over from what i’ve seen so far. But i will write a short review when i see the movie and see how much does cross over and how they compare. But its a light, easy and enjoyable read especially as this is one of the first zombie books i’ve ever read because they hadn’t really appealled to me as characters. ๐Ÿ™‚

If any of you’s have read it let me know what you’s have thought and if you’s are gona see the movie

Maebhe

Reviews · Uncategorized

Review: James Dashner, The Maze Runner

Tea-in-hand: Check

Blurb:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But heโ€™s not alone. When the liftโ€™s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Gladeโ€”a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers donโ€™t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night theyโ€™ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent upโ€”the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Okay so we are gona dive straight in. I really liked this book. The overall story was a really interesting and different take on the traditional dystopian future which has become more previlant in alot of YA novels i’ve noticed in my last couple of visits to my favourite place on earth – Waterstones! Because of the success of the Hunger Games and kinda like the Vampire phenomenon which emerged after the whole Twilight craziness – which ruined alot of Vampire books because it has been so overdone, if someone ruins werewolves i may freak! ๐Ÿ™‚ And twilight doesnt count because they are shapeshifters – not were’s. ANd not totally dis-ing twilight because i’ve read and own them all and was really into them at the start because i had them before most people – but they arent amazing and have been totally over hyped – soz.

So in this book it takes the dystopian universe and a group of boys who have been placed in a maze without any of there memories . So part of my interest in this book is how its writen in the first person, so i felt like i was learning more about the world alone with Thomas and facing each challenge as it comes. And as i learned along with Thomas i kept being surprised and kept trying to guess what was gona come along – and i failed epically – which is awesome! lol because that is one of my worst habits when it comes to reading YA because i can ruin a book for myself and the fact that this kept me guessing made me get through this book in like 2days – so that is the sign of a good book for me – because if i dont like something i can very easily give up and just put a book in my book chest, which is really a blanket chest which holds my ridiculous amount of overflow of books which cant fit on my book shelf and my rooms really small so organisation is necessary.

But back to the book: the characters were all really originally and their names made the incredibly nerdy bit of me happy – small spoiler- they were named after scientist – like Thomas is after Thomas Edison and there is a Newton and Einstein etc – LOve! And Teresa are only female character is really interest and is the cause of all the major drama in their already weird little lives ๐Ÿ™‚ and im hoping that there will be more of her in the next book in the series as her and Thomas’ relationship and ‘connection’ ๐Ÿ™‚ grows and develops as i felt she was only starting to come into her own at the very end of the book.

The creatures in this book were again veryy different and imaginitive. Because inside my head when i read i create the whole world and kinda turn them into little personal movies. For me the creatures were hard to imagine because they are part other-world creature and part robot. I imagined the giant subway worm from the Men in Black II with robotic appendages – thats the best i could imagine. But so scary in the context of there struggle and their involvement in Thomas’s rediscovery of his memory is soo good – my gosh this is hard because there are so many little details that i loved about this book i want to tell you but they play a big role in how they fight their way out that i dont want to ruin it for anyone who tries this book out.

SO im just gona say that this book is a total 4.9 stars – 0.1 away simply because there was a bit of the book were Thomas got a little moodie and repeatitive and that annoyed me a little. But its so miniscule that i feel bad taking it off. But for a YA novel it was so interesting and challenging, with such an original take on things that i really liked it.

๐Ÿ™‚

If anyone tries this or has read this, please let me know what you’s think/thought and if there is anything would like to add to this review slash ramble – sorry i will totally work or organising my reviews more.

Thank you, Maebhe