So let’s talk about…my obsession with Outlander (Part 1)

51PrW27sXWL._SX166_SY265_I think it is only right that I start the year’s first blog post talking about the focus of my current fandom obsession: OUTLANDER (both the book series by Diana Gabaldon and the hit TV show on STARZ based on them). This post will most likely be split into two parts, because I am not exaggerating when I say I can talk about Outlander until my teeth fall out!

In a season where I have not had time to watch/catch up on any of my regular, favorite shows, Outlander has become one of my absolute, go-to, MUST SEE shows.  Continue reading

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Sci-Fi Party Line #220: Game of Thrones – Hardhome

imageIn the latest episode of the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast, we discuss the latest episode of Game of Thrones, “Hardhome” and also talk about the controversy surrounding the last few episodes and how the violence of the show compares to other shows we currently record about. Emotions are high in this episode, and the language is a bit more colorful than usual, but it wouldn’t be good TV if it didn’t provoke these responses, right?

The crew for this episode are myself (@hmrpotter), Cat (@fancyfembot), Carl (@robominister) and Eric (@bullittWHO)

http://scifipartyline.com/?powerpress_embed=3089-podcast&powerpress_player=mediaelement-audio

“Insurgent” Featurette

Official Insurgent posterSo anyone who knows me, knows that I am a recent convert to the “Divergent” fandom. I saw the film for the first time in early October, and began reading the books Halloween weekend. I spent all of November and most of December watching the movie at least twice a week. I started following Sheo and FourTris-related social media pages (that stands for Shailene/Theo and/or Four/Tris – for those of you uninitiated who are clueless about what a ship is), reading old interviews of Shai and Theo (yes, my burgeoning fandom love has progressed to first-name basis), and trying to figure out exactly what took so long for me to get into the series in the first place (oh, yeah – the fact that I could never find the books in the library and was trying to stick to my “don’t buy another book until you read the almost 400 you’ve already got” rule). Whatever.

My obsession quickly died down as the holidays ended and I had to get back to real life – work, school, parenting, and all of that other stuff that interferes with me being able to fangirl full time 😦 However, today as I was sitting at my desk at work trying to take a five minute break from the mountain of paperwork I was drowning in, Insurgent began trending on my social media timelines and I figured something got released and it was my duty to check it out.

“Something” was a 2 1/2 minute featurette on the upcoming film, which is due in theaters on March 20. The featurette gives viewers a sneak peek into the changes in Tris and Four’s lives, since the events that found them pretty much factionless in Divergent.  Snippets of interviews with Shailene Woodley (Tris), Theo James (Four), Miles Teller (Peter), Zoë Kravitz (Christina), Ansel Elgort (Caleb), Kate Winslet (Jeanine) and Mekhi Phifer (Max) are sprinkled throughout the video, as well as glimpses of some fresh faces (I’m sorry, but Naomi Watts does not look old enough to be Evelyn!!) and some familiar scenes to those who have read the books (the Amity tree, Erudite headquarters, Tris’ fear simulation). Click on the link to watch the segment for yourself, and while you’re at it, you may as well take another look at the official trailer:

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015 – The Grown Up Fangirl’s Year in Review

Goodbye 2014 Hello 2015 HD Wallpaper Images PicturesGoodbye, good riddance 2014!!! 2014 was the year I really could have used a clone, because I did not get to do nearly as much as I wanted to do, fandomwise. Not enough cons, not enough podcasting, not enough TV/movie watching, and not enough blogging. Even so, there were a few highlights to my fangirlish year, and it’s enough to motivate me to make more effort in the coming year. So…let’s cover a few things, shall we?

BOOKS – Trying to work full-time and go to school has gotten harder for me to juggle in the past two years, so I haven’t gotten to read quite as much as I wanted to this year (my reading goal on Goodreads was 25 books – I fell waaaaayyyy short of that goal). In anticipation of the reboot (which I still have yet to see), I re-read V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic for the millionth time (and am still adequately fascinated/disturbed at the story). I finally sat down and read/listened to the first novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (or, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the books, the series that HBO’s Game of Thrones is based on). I found some sense of closure with The Mortal Instruments: A City of Heavenly Fire, but was reluctant to give up on the Shadowhunter world, so I picked up The Bane Chronicles in an effort to get into the head of one of the more mysterious and interesting characters in the series, warlock Magnus Bane. As of right now, the jury is still out on this one; whereas most of the books I’ve read lately have been of the can’t-put-it-down variety, sadly this book doesn’t fall into that category, and I am finding it harder and harder to remember why I liked Magnus Bane in the first place. But the book series that has really had a grab-me-and-don’t-let-me-go effect is the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth.

divergent1Until June 2014, I had worked the past two years in the public library system, and the Divergent books were always in the hard-to-find category, especially with to the March release of the first film in the series, Divergent. For awhile I had given up on trying to read the books, deciding that I would just wait until I bought them to read them. However, once I sat down to finally watch the film, I was drawn in by the chemistry of the lead characters Tris and Four (portrayed onscreen by Shailene Woodley and Theo James, respectively). So, Halloween weekend consisted of me reading Divergent (Friday), Insurgent (Saturday), and Allegiant (Sunday). I followed up with Four a couple of weeks later. Even though I’m late to the faction party, I’ll probably end up doing a re-read and then blogging about the books at some point, because those books were a doozy to read. But I haven’t fangirled about books/movies as much in the past few years as I have in the past few months with these characters, so that’s a good thing. (BTW, I will totally spaz out if I ever get to meet Theo James in person. Just warning y’all in advance). Oh, and if someone could find a way to convince Veronica Roth to write more books about Four, I’d appreciate it.

TV – Television was kind of huge for me in 2014. I enjoyed some of my newer favorites (Game of Thrones, Sleepy Hollow, Walking Dead, The Originals, Orphan Black), fell back in love with an older one (now that’s the Supernatural I know and love), said goodbye to an old friend (rest in peace, True Blood) and got sucked in to a couple of others (How to Get Away with Murder, Teen Wolf).  Scandal consistently kept my jaw on the floor, and The Vampire Diaries is getting interesting again now that Delena isn’t so much the focus of the show. I am currently catching up on Season 4 of Lost Girl, but am apprehensive because I already know one of my favorite characters dies. Oh yeah, speaking of beloved characters dying…

WTF, Walking Dead and Sleepy Hollow? (Spoilers be ahead, for those of you not caught up).

I know that in the reality of the zombie apocalypse, it’s unrealistic to think that all of our favorite characters will escape unscathed. Episode 1 of Season 5 nearly gave us a heart attack thinking that Glenn was going to be head-bashed with a bat not once, but twice, Carl was almost raped by a rather ogre-ish looking biker dude, and even little baby Judith was threatened with a knife to the throat (RIP Martin…not). But we knew someone from the group was gonna have to die, and unfortunately the first casualty was Bob Stuckey. After what happened to him (being bitten by a walker, and then taken hostage and partially turned into Bob-B-Q by some survivors of Terminus), I expected him to not make it. No, the death that got me was Beth. Beth’s death for me equaled the WTF? incredulity I had when Hedwig was killed by Death Eaters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was just one of those deaths I really feel was unnecessary to the whole of the story; it really serves no purpose except to solidify the fact that the group needs to pay attention to Rick when he tells them that being nice isn’t getting them anywhere. And poor Maggie’s face…

Moving along to Sleepy Hollow – I will admit that I am still pissed about the killing off of Captain Frank Irving. That was another WTF? for me. Orlando Jones is a talented actor and his character brought a sense of balance to the group of Ichabod, Abbie, Katrina and Jenny. It was bad enough that the character was grossly underused in the first part of season 2 (bring him back and send that damn Sheriff Reyes away, okay? She irks the hell out of me and serves no purpose), but then to kill him? (Although the manner of death was heroically glorious). However, I do realize that dead does not always mean dead in Sleepy Hollow and hope that there’s some great way the writers will bring back Irving’s character.

In the meantime, check out this HILARIOUS video from the Captain himself, giving us a recap of his character’s journey through Sleepy Hollow:

MOVIES – I totally suck in the movie department for 2014 – aside from Divergent, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy (last week), X-Men: Days of Future Past (two weeks ago), and Maleficent (opening weekend). Pathetic, I know, and I will hopefully get a chance to change that in 2015.

PODCASTS – Due to scheduling conflicts and other real-life BS, I only recorded a few episodes on Sci-Fi Party Line this year. They are as follows:

20140830_215700CONVENTIONS – I only got to attend one convention this year: Dragon Con. The experience wasn’t as great as previous years, mainly because I spent most of the week prior sick as a dog and literally had no energy, but it wasn’t a total flop. After podcasting together for 5 years, I got to meet Cat (@fancyfembot) in person!

I also got to meet Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter) and Osric Chau (Kevin Tran, Supernatural – he was there as an attendee but was nice enough to pose for a photo when I recognized him outside of Starbucks). I got to ask Karl Urban (The Chronicles of Riddick, Almost Human) a question during his panel, and I was a panelist on the “Growing Up to Save the World” panel on the Whedonverse track.

All in all, not such a bad year, but I plan to do so much more in 2015. To those of you who follow and have stuck with me, thanks again for another great year! Happy New Year 2015!!

My review: After Dead by Charlaine Harris (SPOILERS INCLUDED)

ImageFirst things first: Happy 2014 to everyone!

I decided that I would end 2013 much like I brought it in: with a stack of books that I am long overdue to read. The first on my list was Charlaine Harris’ After Dead, which documents the lives of the residents in Bon Temps after the events in Dead Ever After – the final book in the Southern Vampire (Sookie Stackhouse) series. As a fan of the series – and the TV show it spawned, True Blood – I was looking forward to finding out about the happily-ever-afters I had hoped to find, especially after the general feeling of disappointment I had after reading Dead Ever After and the most recent season of True Blood. The anticipation I felt quickly turned to disappointment as I read through the first few pages of the book and upon finishing, led me to this one conclusion:

This book was a complete waste of trees and for me, cemented the fact that the Sookieverse is indeed dead – and good riddance to it.

This book was to have served as a continuance into Bon Temps, telling us – the loyal readers – what happened in the lives of our favorite characters after the events in Dead Ever After. I got through the first fourteen characters without remembering who most of them are, and even now couldn’t tell you from which books they appeared. Characters #15 and #16, Andy and Halleigh Bellefleur, were the first in a line of characters who I actually cared for, and their stories post-Dead Ever After are for the most part sad and depressing. Most of the major characters survived all of the craziness throughout the 13-book series, just to find themselves dying of “ordinary” circumstances (car accidents, heart problems, drugs, etc.). The ones who did live had sad, pathetic lives – except for the handful that Ms. Harris gave pleasant lives to, the main ones we wanted to know about anyway. The important contents of this book could have easily been scripted into an epilogue included at the end of Dead Ever After.

Some examples include (CLICK AND DRAG YOUR MOUSE TO SEE SPOILERS):

  • Andy and Halleigh Bellefleur’s daughter was born with a heart defect, two months after the events in Dead Ever After. She lived until her teens, when she died in her senior year of high school due to complications. She was buried in her cheerleader uniform.
  • Terry Bellefleur, along with his wife, dies in a car accident 8 years after Dead Ever After.
  • Jane Bodehouse died 5 years later, after hitting her head on the bathroom sink when she passed out on the toilet. (Not surprising, but did she really have to die such an undignified death?)
  • Bubba gets exiled to Canada after causing a riot at his gravesite.
  • Tara and JB break up
  • Octavia Fant and Louis Chambers die after a tree branch crashes into their bedroom during a storm.
  • Amelia and Bob get married, have a son and get divorced.

Well, you can see how this is going. The characters who have relatively happy lives are ones who made brief appearances throughout the series. Of course Bill, Sookie, and Eric have relatively happy lives, but I won’t spoil those here.

Overall, this book was a disappointment for me, and makes me certain that it was definitely time to end the tales in Bon Temps. (Although Ms. Harris suggests in two characters’ bios that we will probably see them again). Certainly NOT worth the $18.00 cover price. Pull out your library card for this one, or borrow it from a friend who had the misfortune of paying for it. RIP, Sookieverse.

Mini Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife (Book)

My first read of the new year was “The Time Traveler’s Wife”, a book that I’ve had on my shelves for almost a year but never had the time to read. With Snowpocalyse 2011 hitting Atlanta and everything being shut down, I took the time to finally get through this book, to see if I would love it as much as I loved the film adaptation. The answer was a resounding yes.

The supernatural element of time-traveling added to the appeal of this book for me, but overall, it was the love story that sucked me in and made me fall in love with it. Being a hopeless romantic myself, to read a story that talks about not only romantic love, but maternal love and how powerful and impactful they can both be was very moving for me. The story shows that love really can transcend time and space, and who doesn’t want that kind of love in their life?

I think the only thing that slightly bothered me was the age difference and some interactions between Henry and Clare when he was older, traveling back to see her younger self. But again, in this instance since they ended up married anyway, it wasn’t so bad; just a bit weird to read.

All in all, I think this was a great story, and I’m glad that I chose it to kick of my year of reading for 2011.

Title, Cover Art Revealed for Sookie Stackhouse Book #11

Cover art for the 11th installment in Charlaine Harris’ “Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse” series has been released. “Dead Reckoning” will be in stores on May 3, 2011. According the TrueBlood.net, the synopsis for the story is as follows:

“With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit – and the twisted motive for the attack. But her attention is divided. Though she can’t ‘read’ vampires, Sookie knows her lover Eric Northman and his ‘child’ Pam well – and she realises that they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -which is much more complicated than she knows. Caught up in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human – and that there is a new Queen on the board . . . ”

Looks like Sookie just can’t stay out of trouble, can she?