Friday, May 31, 2013

FILM REVIEW: Last Kind Words

Last Kind Words is a 2012 Mystery/Thriller film directed by Kevin Barker and starring Brad Dourif, Spencer Daniels and Alexia Fast. It was released on the 24th March 2012.


PLOT

17-year-old Eli has just moved with his family deep into the backwoods of Kentucky to work on the isolated farm of a local recluse. Inexplicably drawn into the strange forest that lies beyond the farm, Eli encounters the beautiful, sweet and mysterious Amanda, seemingly the perfect girl. But with the discovery of decaying bodies hanging from the trees, he realizes that the forest - and Amanda - are harboring some very dark secrets. Suddenly, Eli is living in a waking nightmare where the lines between life and death are scrawled in blood, and there is no escaping the terror from beyond the grave. [taken from IMDB].

WHY I WATCHED

I have been following Alexia Fast since I saw her when I took a chance on Triple Dog (which is AWESOME). I saw her on this when I looked it up on IMDB and decided that there are worse ways to spend an evening especially if you have a thing for redheads.

WHAT I THOUGHT

Well I have to say I was not sure what to expect as anyone who does IMDB surfing from time to time even when they look at films they know realise that the descriptions can either be cryptic or just plain wrong. In the end this one actually keeps pretty close to the description which thankfully leaves enough to the imagination to allow you to keep interested in the things that are going on.

The acting is fine and doesn’t pull you out of the moment with awkwardness the plot is pretty dark and just gets darker when you start with an abusive alcoholic and go from there to finding dead bodies but even with all that stuff there is a touching story too which I will leave for you to find.

For fans of old school horror there is the always good for a creepy guy role, Brad Dourif and for most of the rest of us there is Alexia Fast who I last saw in a small part in The Secret Circle which only ran for a season. Those are the big names involved with this particular project.

I certainly won’t be spoiling the ending but for me I will just say I was a little taken aback by the ending. That is all you will get nothing more from me on that. So in closing I would say that the film is worth a lot but know you what you are letting yourself in for a dark tale that just gets darker.


Monday, May 27, 2013

JOBS JOBS JOBS Part I

So I thought I would write about my job search process because it is getting that time of the year when jobs at least in my sector start to dry up.

My background and desired work is in administration, I am also interested in working in HE and FE. Hmm what else, oh I have a current up to date CV that I got written up with the help of a recruitment agency.

Moving on I surf through several job portals to look for relevant work I have listed some but certainly not all of them below:
So there they are and they each have their uses Indeed is adequate for searching for all jobs (not just admin) in the local area which most other places wouldn't have it is also good for catching things like schools advertising for non-teaching roles. To sum it up think of it as a Universal Job Match that actually just about works instead of stealing your data.

NHS Jobs doesn't really need an explanation other to add that there is actually a fair amount of office work always available there the problem tend to arise from the part time nature of it. Prime Appointments is good quality but due to the fact that it is based on a region means that there is a finite pool of jobs to look at.

NUS Connect couldn't be more specialist in that it is jobs from the student movement from all over the UK of course as they are only jobs from Universities and Colleges there are even fewer within a commutable distance.

Jobs.ac.uk a great site that always gives me some decent prospects to look through as it basically lists all the HE/FE related non-teaching jobs.

That is enough for now so you can go check those out to see if they offer up any opportunities for you.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

So I was Thinking About Stuff

So there is this conversation going on at Hypable regarding that scene in Star Trek Into Darkness. You can read it here

It certainly divides opinion in ways I was not expecting but then everyone is different. Just thought that was worth mentioning. In other news there is an interview this week for a job with some interesting hours something that I could really sink my teeth into while at the same time not being too challenging for someone who has been out of the hunt for as long as I have.

I sometimes if I am always contrary or looking to stir things up but when I really look at things I am reasonably I am not, there are shows and books that I am completely over the moon about like Morganville Vampires, Continuum and Defiance but so often in the past shows I like get cancelled which then leads me to being so tough on the shows that seem to skate through while treating the audience as if they are idiots.



There is a new patch on Wednesday which I think will prove interesting at least for awhile it should do as the powers that be were probably aware through at least half of it that the numbers were down and that things needed to change.

I can't let today pass without talking at least a little about XBox One I watched a little of the conference maybe half an hour's worth but it really was just a lot of technical talk and a lot of talk about anything OTHER than gaming which is understandable when you look at the XBox 360 and the fact that streaming is a HUGE part of XBox Live.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris


Dead Ever After is the 13th and Final book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series (aka Sookie Stackhouse) written by Charlaine Harris. It was released on the 7th of May by Gollancz books and is 352 pages long. The ISBN is 0575096616. I purchased this book.

The Southern Vampire Mysteries have been made into the popular HBO show True Blood starring Anna Paquin.

PLEASE BE AWARE OF SPOILERS INCLUDED WITHIN THIS REVIEW


PLOT

Sookie Stackhouse has one last adventure in store.

Life has taken her from a waitress in Merlotte's Bar, Bon Temps, to part owner; from social outcast to the heart of her community; from a vampire's girlfriend to the wife of one of the most powerful vampires in the state.

She has survived explosions, revolutions and attempts on her life. Sookie has endured betrayal, heartbreak and grief...and she has emerged a little stronger, and little wiser, every time.

But with life comes new trials...

The question is, in the end: who will love, who will live, and who will be dead ever after?

WHY I BOUGHT IT

I started reading Southern Vampires after watching the first season of True Blood and instantly realised I had made a TERRIBLE mistake I should have read it BEFORE. The first season of True Blood was good but things went rapidly downhill from there while nearly all of the Southern Vampire novels have been excellent. They are as different from one another as chalk and cheese or say Philosopher’s Stone was to Prisoner of Azkaban.


WHAT I THOUGHT

Wow Charlaine Harris really knocked it out of the park with this one. Some of the last few books have been a bit hit and miss and I was a bit worried where this will go after all it is the final book though I would guess there would be a few short stories down the road but I digress.

I really like and admire Sookie Stackhouse most people who had to deal with the crap that has been shovelled her way would either be reclining in a straight jacket in some institution or so jaded and hardened to violence that she would just be some action hero carbon copy. Instead she is a woman who worries about the damage she may have done to her soul and how best to be a part of her community. I'm not a religious type but the way that Charlaine writes Sookie’s views on religion are something I can empathise with.

Bon Temps feels like I'm coming home the way that Harris weaves the relationships amongst the often eccentric bar patrons and local residents. Plus we get somewhat of a bonus with a huge amount of Sookie’s acquaintances from the previous books come running to offer our heroine their aid.

The murder mystery is a little different this time in that we are left with a fair idea of who did what but there is enough left to look forward to as Sookie and company work their way through it.

I love this book because it has all those little touches which make me think I am reading about someone real, someone who worries about money problems and strives to keep her house and garden clean and tidy. I swear Sookie even gives me tips on the proper way to greet and treat guests.

On the ending which as I have seen has proved a controversial one I am more than satisfied with. From the beginning of the series I could always see that Sookie did not see her real future being the partner of a vampire, she mentions again and again in the series how much she wants a family and that she cannot stand the idea of becoming a vampire. Yet I read review after review of people losing their collective minds over the fact that Charlaine Harris didn't send Sookie off into the sunset with Eric.

Sookie mainly gravitated to Bill and Eric for a number of reasons, her lack of relationship experience the fact that dating a regular human is almost impossible because of her telepathy and of course the larger than life personas of the vampires. At the beginning of the series Sookie was as naïve as she was strong, she started as a girl and came out the other end as a woman and took us all on the wild and fascinating course to get there and I for one am glad I decided to go with.

Monday, May 6, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Inferno by Sherrilyn Kenyon


Inferno by Sherrilyn Kenyon is the fourth book in the Chronicles of Nick series which is based in the Dark Hunter Universe. The book was published on the 9th of April 2013 by Atom Books and the ISBN is 0749957735. I purchased this book.

PLEASE BEWARE OF SOME SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW


PLOT

I control my destiny and my life.
Nothing controls me.
Ever.
Turning sixteen isn't what Nick Gautier thought it would be. While other boys his age are worried about prom dates and applying for college, Nick is neck deep in enemies out to stop him from living another day.
No longer sure if he can trust anyone, his only ally seems to be the one person he's been told will ultimately kill him.

Those out to get him have summoned an ancient force so powerful even the gods fear it. As Nick learns to command and control the elements, the one he must master in order to combat his latest foe is the one most likely to destroy him. If he is to survive this latest round, he will ultimately have to sacrifice a part of himself.

WHY I BOUGHT IT

Infinity (Book 1) got me interested as basically the first YA book I had seen widely marketed featuring a male protagonist (If you’re thinking Percy Jackson that comes under MG in most listings). Once I had finished reading that I knew was in for the long haul with this series which is funny action packed and features lots of interesting lore. I can highly recommend it to that endangered species like me known as the male reader.

WHAT I THOUGHT

Ah Nick Gautier is a very interesting character someone who is both strong and weak as a result of his coming into his powers, his social class and the fact he is going through puberty. Those aspects of him play a major part in Inferno as they do in all the books. It is hard in this book to tell if Nick is growing in confidence or just being manipulated down a path and that just adds to the book.

I still for the life of me I can’t see what Nick sees in Kody, one issue I think is the way that she is described constantly going on about her beauty instead of less physical aspects makes me prefer most of Nick female friends to her. She is only slightly less judgemental than Cherise and she drives me totally to distraction. I think it is a product though of excellent writing that you have to be impressed by the way Nick doesn't destroy Stone and the others with the crap he has to put up with.

In this book we delve a lot into the supernatural outside of New Orleans visiting a host of dimensions and getting at least a hint at what Death has in store for our favourite Cajun and learning about a few others of the big players, for those who didn't know before the Dark Hunter Universe is a very large one indeed.

The rest of Nick's friends get some time including Bubba who is amazing as always but if there is one thing that I would like to see is a few more human characters especially after what is revealed near the end of this book. The anti-bullying message is pretty strong in this book and the statement/manifesto came across to me at least a little over the top and might have been better at the end of the book instead of shoe horned in like that.

BEST PART OF INFERNO

Simi. Simi. Simi. There definitely wasn't enough of my favourite demon but that little bit was still a lot of fun. I’m not a Dark Hunter reader outside of Chronicles of Nick so I don’t know a lot more about the Simi other than I like her a lot hopefully this lack of Simi will be dealt with in future instalments.

WORST PART OF INFERNO

Oh my god that ending – WHAT THE HELL? After a story that went on at a breakneck pace then careened off into the ditch of an apparent alternate universe a universe I did not like the look of. It is too early to pre-judge the next book but colour me concerned about how much time we might spend before things get back to normal.

So all in all though I do have some reservations about Illusion the next book in the series I can still say plainly that I love Chronicles of Nick and can’t wait to get my next fix.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Clockwork Princess By Cassandra Clare


Clockwork Princess is the third and final book in the Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare. It was published on the 19th of March 2013 by Walker and the ISBN is 1406330396. I purchased this book.
Cassandra Clare is better known as the author of The Mortal Devices series which has recently been turned into a film franchise; both series occupy the same universe with the events chronicles in the Infernal Devices having happened over a century before.


PLOT

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it? The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose. Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment. Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the third and final instalment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

WHY I BOUGHT IT

I bought Clockwork Angel on a whim and was rewarded with an engaging story with an interesting twist. Once I had finished that first book there was no doubt that I would be following the series to its conclusion.

WHAT I THOUGHT

I was late to the party with the whole Cassandra Clare thing. Of course I knew about her and The Mortal Instruments especially the whole trilogy being extended due to the runaway success of the first few books. Even as I was about to start this review people keep telling me to read the Mortal Instruments but it is just not for me. 

The reason I chose The Infernal Devices is at the time it made a change from my normal YA and the setting reminded me a little of Sherlock Holmes story plus the British setting is a hell of a change.
Clockwork Princess is the finale of the Infernal Devices trilogy and had a lot of things to tie up. Did it manage to do things well? It managed to do things excellently and I never had that feeling which all too often occurs when reading YA that one knows exactly where the plot is heading and that for me is a big plus.

Finally we have all of Tessa’s origins revealed which felt like a huge load off my mind I had been racking my brain especially with all the tiny slivers of hints over the past two books. Also I can’t really talk about this book without examining the central love triangle; the way it is handled is beautiful and touching. Other YA books should take note on how the triangle is handled it is elegant.

There is not much I can say about what goes on without it getting into spoilers so suffice it to say that this is the best trilogy that I can bring to mind at the moment and the books go flow together smoothly and the ending, definitely did not see that coming in anyway shape or form and it blew me away.
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