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11 August, 2016

[Book Review] Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II (Special Rehearsal Edition): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

This Special Rehearsal Edition will be available to purchase until early 2017, after which a Definitive Edition of the script will go on sale.

There will be spoilers, read at your own risk.

25 July, 2016

[Movie Review] Star Trek Beyond

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Summary: A surprise attack in outer space forces the Enterprise to crash-land on a mysterious world. The assault came from Krall (Idris Elba), a lizard-like dictator who derives his energy by sucking the life out of his victims. Krall needs an ancient and valuable artifact that's aboard the badly damaged starship. Left stranded in a rugged wilderness, Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the crew must now battle a deadly alien race while trying to find a way off their hostile planet.

Please note: This review does contain Spoilers, read at your own risk.

21 July, 2016

Pokemon Go in the Library? Yes Please.

If you've been anywhere on the internet for the past two weeks, you'll have seen at least one post about Pokemon Go. The cellphone based app has surpassed Tinder in number of downloads and Twitter in numbers of daily logging on, making it one of the largest apps to ever hit the market. In the first week of it's release alone, the App raised Nintendo's stock by 120% since it's release in the U.S. though recently it did drop with the postponement announcement for the Japanese release.

I won't say the release has been perfect - constant server problems, game 'breaking' glitches, and less than stellar tutorial has left many fans and new players frustrated with what's happened. Overwhelming popularity has also lead to many people getting caught in strange or awkward situations ranging from finding dead bodies to meeting an unfortunate end due to trespassing into places they shouldn't be. Those, however, are only a subsection of the stories coming from this phenomenon. For every story I've seen putting down Pokemon Go, I've seen positive stories about the app giving a common footing for children with Autism, children in the Shriner's Hospitals, and just a positive impact in general.

13 May, 2016

[Movie Review] Captain America: Civil War

poster from io9

Captain America: Civil War is the long awaited continuation of the superheroes within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). A semi-direct sequel to Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War features the current Avengers team minus Bruce Banner (Hulk, last seen flying towards the atmosphere in the jet) and Thor (current location uncertain) though both should be returning in Thor: Ragnarok next year. Still, this movie isn't lacking on the superheroes. If you haven't seen the movie yet, I'm going to warn you now there will be spoilers below the cut so read at your own risk.

Updates and Current things on the Radar

It's been a while since I made a post, five months in fact. Not exactly my game plan but life rarely goes the way we think it should. The past few months have been busy between planning for Summer Reading, multiple activities within the library and outside of it, and just generally trying to get by. In the past few months I've caught the release of a few new books that hopefully I'll get through soon so their reviews will be in the pipeline soon. Since my last posting however, we've gotten closer to a couple of new things that I'm super hyped about and can't wait to see them come out.

30 December, 2015

Tour Review: The Ice Queen (Book 2 of the Odd Tangle-Hair's Saga) by Bruce Macbain


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 The second volume of Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga takes up Odd’s adventures as a skald (court poet) in the land of the Rus. Here he is drawn into a dangerous love affair with the passionate and cunning Princess Ingigerd of Novgorod, and is forced to break with his sworn lord, Harald the Ruthless. Along the way, Odd devises a stratagem to defeat the wild Pechenegs, nomadic warriors of the Russian steppe, and goes off on a doomed mission to explore the distant reaches of the Black Sea. The novel concludes with Odd sailing into the harbor of Constantinople, bent on a secret mission, which will almost certainly cost him his life. 

Eager, curious, quick-witted—and sometimes wrong-headed—Odd Tangle-Hair recounts his story with candor, insight, and always an ironic sense of humor.

About the Author

03_Bruce Macbain
From boyhood, Bruce Macbain spent his days in reading history and historical fiction. The Greeks and Romans have held a special fascination for him, and this led to earning a master’s degree in Classical Studies and a doctorate in Ancient History. Along the way, he also taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Borneo. Later, he taught courses in Greek and Roman civilization at Boston University, and published a few dense monographs, read by very few. In recent years he has turned to writing fiction, a much more congenial pursuit, beginning with two historical mysteries set in ancient Rome (Roman Games and The Bull Slayer). Now, he has turned his attention to his other favorite folk, the Vikings. Odin's Child , the first novel of Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga, was published in May, 2015 and is now followed the sequel, The Ice Queen. A concluding volume will follow next year. 

Bruce spends his spare time in the kitchen, cooking spicy food.


06 December, 2015

Tour Review: In the Shadow of the Storm (The King’s Greatest Enemy, Book One) by Anna Belfrage

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Displaying 02_In the Shadow of the Storm.jpg

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Adam de Guirande owes his lord, Sir Roger Mortimer, much more than loyalty. He owes Sir Roger for his life and all his worldly good, he owes him for his beautiful wife – even if Kit is not quite the woman Sir Roger thinks she is. So when Sir Roger rises in rebellion against the king, Adam has no choice but to ride with him – no matter what the ultimate cost may be.

England in 1321 is a confusing place. Edward II has been forced by his barons to exile his favourite, Hugh Despenser. The barons, led by the powerful Thomas of Lancaster, Roger Mortimer and Humphrey de Bohun, have reasons to believe they have finally tamed the king. But Edward is not about to take things lying down, and fate is a fickle mistress, favouring first one, then the other.

Adam fears his lord has over-reached, but at present Adam has other matters to concern him, first and foremost his new wife, Katherine de Monmouth. His bride comes surrounded by rumours concerning her and the baron, and he hates it when his brother snickers and whispers of used goods.

Kit de Courcy has the misfortune of being a perfect double of Katherine de Monmouth – which is why she finds herself coerced into wedding a man under a false name. What will Adam do when he finds out he has been duped?

Domestic matters become irrelevant when the king sets out to punish his rebellious barons. The Welsh Marches explode into war, and soon Sir Roger and his men are fighting for their very lives. When hope splutters and dies, when death seems inevitable, it falls to Kit to save her man – if she can.

In the Shadow of the Storm is the first in Anna Belfrage’s new series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his baron, his king, and his wife.

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