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!!

RIP True Blood: a very long recap of the series finale and a few of my thoughts

true-blood-season-7-teaser-trailerWell it’s over. Done. Finished. Kaput. Finite.

After seven seasons, the coffin has closed on the series known as True Blood. The series finale aired this evening at 9pm EST, as expected, it was a doozy. The show had some good notes, some sad notes, and some unexpected ones, but it’s what you’d expect from a finale, right?

This post will be long, since I don’t usually do recaps (and since it’s a series finale) and WILL have spoilers, so if you haven’t watched yet, you’ve been warned.

The show begins with Sookie and Bill. Bill starts out being nostalgic over the fact that they are in her grandmother’s house, where he first came to call on her, met her family, etc. Sookie has no time for reminiscing – she wants to know why Bill is so intent on dying. He explains to her that since he’s been sick, he’s felt more human than he’s ever felt, and talks of his wife and children, and how he should be with them. His whole purpose in wanting the true death is so that Sookie can be free of him and pursue a human life, complete with children – which she could never have with him. It all makes sense, and Sookie begins to soften as she grudgingly acknowledges his view. But then, here comes the kicker: Bill asks Sookie to use her fae light on him, giving him the true death which will also free her from the supernatural gifts that make her so appealing to vampires (which is something she’s been considering since last season). However, Sookie is angered by Bill’s suggestion (or maybe because she realizes that he’s really, really thought this through and it makes sense), and she kicks him out.

Continue reading

Dragon Con is almost here!!!

dragoncon2014

5 MORE DAYS!!!!!

 

It’s finally here, time for the streets of downtown Atlanta to be taken over by cosplayers, celebrities and fans en masse! Dragon Con – the largest multimedia, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film – will take place in Atlanta next weekend, August 29th – September 1st, and the guest list contains something for everyone: a little bit of 70s/80s nostalgia, some sci-fi/fantasy, big names, new names – Dragon Con will have it all.

 

Here’s a look at some of my favorite shows/movies/book fandoms that will be well represented:

Harry Potter – You guys know it just would be a post worth mentioning if I didn’t talk about the HP guests first! 🙂 Two actresses from the series will appear for the first time at Dragon Con: Evanna Lynch, who plays the faithful and loyal (if a little quirky and eccentric) Luna Lovegood; and Scarlett Byrne, who is known as that annoying girl from Slytherin/Draco’s girlfriend, Pansy Parkinson. Byrne is more recently seen on television as Lexi in Falling Skies.

It’s the 80s baby!! – Enthusiasts of the 1980s period of television and film will be well represented this year, with guests from popular cult classics such as The Princess Bride, The Karate Kid and The Outsiders. Recently, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Martin Kove, Cary Elwes have all been added to the guest list. Actors Nancy Allen (Carrie, Robocop), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Gil Gerard and Erin Gray (Buck Rogers), and John Ratzenberger (Cheers, various Pixar films) are just a few of the “blast from the past” names that will appear.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV – So much to choose from! We have actors from returning favorites (Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, the Stargate universes), as well as a few of the newer shows (Defiance, Once Upon a Time, Arrow, Lost Girl). Cast members from popular shows Warehouse 13, Being Human and True Blood will appear; all three shows will have ended by the time Dragon Con begins (the last episode of True Blood will air this Sunday at 9EST on HBO).

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film – Dragon Con will have mutants (Patrick Stewart and Shawn Ashmore of the X-Men films), futuristic cops (Peter Weller and Nancy Allen from the original Robocop film), and pirates (Kevin McNally and Lee Arenburg from the Pirates of the Caribbean films); Karl Urban (Star Trek, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Chronicles of Riddick, RED) will make his first Dragon Con appearance.

Personally speaking, I – along with a few of my fellow co-hosts from the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast – will be at Dragon Con the whole weekend. We will be recording shows, blogging, and generally having a grand old time, considering this weekend will be the first time most of us will have ever met in person, although we’ve been recording the show for years. You can find all of our combined posts on our Dragon Con portal at http://www.dragoncon.scifipartyline.com.

I will be speaking on two panels related to Harry Potter during Dragon Con. The first is Shipping Wars in Harry Potter!, which will discuss one of the largest shipping debates ever, Ron/Hermione or Harry/Hermione (I am of course on Team Ron!). This panel will be held on Saturday, August 30 at 10 pm. The second panel is Growing Up to Save the World, which will discuss the roles of teens from several different fandoms (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Buffy, Teen Wolf, etc) and their roles in “saving the world”. That panel will take place on Sunday, August 31 at 1 pm.

Sci-Fi Party Line #187 True Blood

bill-sookie-love-hep-v-nakedOn this week’s episode of the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast, there’s just sooo much to talk about!! Cat and I discuss Violet’s “50 Shades of Grey” room and her attempted corruption of Adelyn and Wade, the pros and cons of wooden dildos when used by vampires (yes, I’m serious), our unexpected soft spots for former comic relief’s Andy and Arlene (and that sex dream, wow!), our opinions on the dynamics of the Jason/Hoyt/Jessica drama, our absolute delight at a Japanese cowboy, a sexual reunion that everyone saw coming a mile away, and give a few predictions for the end of the series. There might be a Twilight/Renesmee prediction/reference in there, much to Cat’s chagrin LOL.

You can check out the full episode here: http://scifipartyline.com/2014/08/sci-fi-party-line-187-true-blood/

And here’s a clip of next week’s episode, and let’s just say, Hoyt is not the same man who left Bon Tomps!

Side Note: Several members of SFPL will be at Dragon Con, August 29 – Sept 1. You can follow our Dragon Con adventures exclusively at http://dragoncon.scifipartyline.com/

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.

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?

The Sookie Stackhouse Companion

Cover image provided by CharlaineHarris.com

I finally got a chance to go over to LiveJournal today, and found this gem of information in one of the True Blood communities. Apparently, there is a new Sookie Stackhouse book scheduled to be released in February 2011. This is great news for Sookie fans, who up until now weren’t expecting the next Sookie installment until May 2011.

According to CharlaineHarris.com, “The Sookie Stackhouse Companion” will include a new Sookie novella, and an exclusive interview with Alan Ball (creator of the HBO series True Blood, which is based on the Sookie books). There will also be a Q&A section where Charlaine answers questions sent in by fans.

You’re invited to send in your questions (limited to three) to askcharlaine@gmail.com from June 17 through June 26. (After that, the email address will be inactive.) Sending in your questions doesn’t guarantee they’ll be included. Please add your name and a valid email address to each question in case Charlaine selects your entry. All questions should pertain to the Sookie Stackhouse series.