Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Orphan, The Soulcatcher and The Black Blizzard by Kimberlee Ann Bastian


Inspiration for the Billiards Scene By: Kimberlee Ann Bastian
Movies have always been my biggest inspiration and some of my best teachers when it comes to life. I can blame this obsession on my Gramz (my mom’s mom). When I was younger, if my Grandpa didn’t have the Vikings football game on, my brother and I (later my brother, sister and I) would go through the movies that make up our Gramz movie library. And boy, does she have a library. We stuck to the classics, which were pretty much all a part of the Disney Catalog. And I’m not talking about just the animated features. Some of our favorites were Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Mary Poppins, Candleshoe, The Apple Dumpling Gang, That Darn Cat (the original), The Love Bug, Parent Trap (the original), just to name a few.
Now I can’t say for sure if I actually saw this movie at her house first, but I’m pretty sure I did. When trying to build a conflict between the gang leaders Victor and Kalvis, I thought of a scene from this movie. What is this mysterious movie you might ask? It is Disney’s 1978 classic “The Cat from Outer Space”.

Original Poster 1978 (Movieberry.com)

DVD Cover (Amazon.com)

For those of you who don’t know what this movie is about here is IMDB’s description. A UFO is stranded on earth and impounded by the US government. Its pilot, a cat with a collar that has special powers, including the ability to allow the cat to communicate with humans, has eluded the authorities and needs the help of a man named Frank in order to reclaim and repair his ship to get back home. (IMDB)
From it, I borrowed a few things, particularly the idea of the billiard scene, the names Link and Honest Harry, and the idea of a talking cat to be the first image of my shape shifting spy, the Chameleon. Without this childhood classic, I’m not sure what the landscape of the story would look like and I shudder to think, because I can’t see it any other way.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Throwback Thursday (4)

Throwback Thursday is where I talk about the classic books I would love to read when I get the time (who knows when that will happen).

The Book

Catch 22 has always been a book that has interested me. I tried to read it once in High School (I wasn't the avid reader then that I am now) and didn't have much luck. The writing style wasn't something I liked back then. I would love to give it a try again and make it through this time. Hopefully it won't be another 10 years before I can pick it up again...

What classics would you love to read?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Book Review: The Gatekeeper by Jason Morrow

With the war in Marenon escalating quickly, Silas Ainsley is running out of time. The relentless Stühocs are attacking villages, and an assassin is tracking his every move, making it difficult to find the one person who has all the answers: The Gatekeeper.

Meanwhile, after learning that the Dunarian Council is compromised, King Julian Hobbes scours Marenon for the truth about how deeply the Stühocs have penetrated the freedom fighters.

When Julian discovers what he must do to uncover that truth, he must decide whether the result can justify his actions.

*Excerpt from Goodreads

This is the second installment of the Marenon Chronicles; a trilogy by Jason Morrow. As I have said before on this blog, I'm always worried about the second book in a trilogy. The second book is usually the worst book of the lot and I cringe when it comes to it. However, this book was a glorious exception to that notion.

The Gatekeeper is a fantastic followup to "The Deliverer". It keeps the story moving at a break neck pace that keeps you turning pages long into the night. I loved this book from beginning to end. There was no long drawn out sections where you could tell that the author was just trying to fill up space on the pages. The characters didn't become stagnant as some are prone to do in second books of trilogies.

In this book we see Silas and his companions continuing their quest for the six medallions that they believe will bring peace to Marenon. Along the way Silas is also trying to embrace his role as the "deliverer" of Marenon. There are some unlikely twists and turns in his role as the "deliverer" during this book and I'm excited to see how Jason continues this plot line in the third and final book in this trilogy. There are also a lot of players involved in the quest for retrieving the medallions. I have so many different ideas in my head for how this could end that I'm excited to see how Jason wraps it all up.

Overall I would say that Jason Morrow has crafted a trilogy that is a must read for lovers of the fantasy genre. If you haven't picked up these books or heard of Jason then it's time to start reading his books and finding out what he has to offer. I give this book two thumbs up.

Overall rating: 5/5