Review: After Earth (film)

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Review for After Earth (film)

My review for this movie, starring Will & Jaden Smith, can be summed up in two words: don't bother.

It felt like, to me, a father giving his son a gift (a movie) and forcing everyone else to watch it. Will played the hardass father whose son was never good enough and Jaden played an eager puppy. Throw a few dystopia lines in, spin in a salad spinner, and Bob's your uncle.

I can't even try to make it sound like this film was worthwhile. So I won't. If you feel like watching a teenage boy get lost and saved by a giant eagle, feel free. I know I won't watch it (again) though.

Review: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

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Review for Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Little Brother is built on the backbone of 1984 by George Orwell. To say they both focus on the lack of privacy and invasiveness of the government would be true. However Little Brother is written for a modern audience and is full of technology and 3 letter agencies based in Washington DC.

The main character - the Little Brother (as opposed to the Big Brother in 1984) - is Marcus. Marcus is your typical slightly geeky adolescence who has a thing against authority. He finds ways to get around technology - putting rocks in his shoes, for instance, to bypass the gait watching of the administrators at school - but isn't a bad boy. He never makes outright war against those around him .. until the bridge collapses and he makes an enemy of a power hungry military woman who promises that she is always watching.

Little Brother shows the world we live in and how our privacy is violated everyday and how, without knowing it, we willingly hand over our rights.

Review: Silver Eyes by Nicole Luiken

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Review for Silver Eyes by Nicole Luiken

Silver Eyes, like the prior book in the series Violet Eyes, is set from Angel's point-of-view. Angel finds herself working for a massive company and finding that, despite her wishes, she can't remember who she is.

Who are her parents?
Why did she decide to work for SilverDollar?
Why did she find a note written, in her own hand, that says "Violet eyes lie"?
And, most importantly, who gave her the angel necklace?

Silver Eyes throws you into the world of espionage, augmentation, and a world curiously like our own where the rich get richer and are seemingly untouchable. That is, unless they anger two very skilled and very violet eyed teenagers who want nothing more than to be left alone.

Review: Cloud Atlas (film)

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Review for Cloud Atlas (film)

"While my extensive experience as an editor has led me to a disdain for flashbacks and flash forwards and all such tricksy gimmicks I believe that if you, dear Reader, can extend your patience for just a moment, you will find that there is a method to this tale of madness."

I walked into the cinema for Cloud Atlas with low hopes. I'd attempted to read the book, by David Mitchell, the year prior and not progressed past page 3. I didn't have much hope for the film but I have a standing rule that any dystopia the Wachowskis produce or write that I will watch immediately.

While I walked into the cinema with trepidation, I walked out of the cinema a believer. Not often do I watch a film and, despite the time of day, want to watch it again immediately. The music, the special effects, the makeup.. even the shots of my current home city. They bring you into a world that is both past, present, future, and far future..

Cloud Atlas comprises six separate, but not distinct, time periods. The characters, themes, and birthmarks flow through one time period to another. It is nothing like anything you have seen. Yet, you should expect to be amazed, amused, and otherwise awestruck.

The Cloud Atlas book is now top of my to-read pile now because, as said very honestly by a certain character, "A half-finished book is, after all, a half finished love affair."

Review: Violet Eyes by Nicole Luiken

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Review for Violet Eyes by Nicole Luiken

"I was thinking that the scientists would be stupid to trust us if one of us is in their pay, because we'd be sure to double-cross them."

When I saw Violet Eyes on the bookshelf in Books-a-Million I was fourteen years old and killing time while my mother browsed the "true crime" section. I remember being intrigued - the colour of the cover was purple - and pulling it down to read a few pages. I then remember whining until I convinced my mother to buy it for me (sorry Mom!).

Violet Eyes is, of course, a dystopia. Imagine living on the equivalent of a play set - where the only constants in your life are yourself and your parents. The other details - what town/house you live in, where you go to school, who your friends are - change every other year.

And then imagine meeting someone living the same life as you.

And that, somehow, his eyes are the exact shade of violet as yours.

And that the world you're living in is nothing like it seems.

Violet Eyes is part-thriller, part-romance, and all dystopia. While the book is aimed at teenagers (12+) it has a mystery about it that can capture anyone into the world that is not quite like our own..

Review: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

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Review for Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

I found this installment in the trilogy far superior to the first book. I think this is because of Roar.

I know you're meant to sympathise with the main characters. And I do like Aria and Perry. But I'd much have preferred a Roar and Liv book after reading this. (Yes, I do know of the prequel novella. But it isn't enough!)

After reading this book I think everyone will agree with me that Roar would be a far better partner. And friend.

However, if this book had less Roar, I'd probably not have enjoyed it much if at all. As with the previous book it is a bit trite and overdone. But the friendship of Roar and Aria saves it.

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

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Review for Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I have to admit, it took me a long time to really get into this book past chapter 1. However, once I got past chapter one it was a breeze. (However I think the cover is odd. Why have manga style characters sleeping next to each other on the cover..? There are far better things they could have had. But I digress.)

This book is one that switches point-of-view between the main female character (Aria) and the main male character (Perry). The world they live in has been decimated by storms of aether (similar to electrical storms..)

The aether is the main catalyst for this society - how some have ended up in self-sufficiant pods to live while others have been abandoned to live their lives outside under the never sky.

I found this book intriguing, if a little trite in regards to some of the relationships and absolutely feelĀ  it is worth a read if you're looking for some light dystopian reading.


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I like the end of the world.

Okay, let me rephrase that slightly. I like reading about the end of the world and watching movies based on the end of the world. Or movies and books based on the opposite of utopias.


Dystopias are my lifeblood. I just love reading about worlds so different from our own (The Giver by Lois Lowry) that have just a small ring of truth about them (Jennifer Government by Max Barry).

And some that have more than a ring of truth - ones that you look outside your window and realise are happening before your eyes (1984 by George Orwell).

I plan on using this blog as part review part real world analysis.

Thank you for coming along on the ride.

"That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on."
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood