Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

2992061What it’s about:

In the Ichidian Universe, The League and their ruthless assassins rule all. Expertly trained and highly valued, the League Assassins are the backbone of the government. But not even the League is immune to corruption . 

Nykyrian Quikiades was a League assassin until one mission changed everything. Now, the only League member to have left and lived, he’s hunted by many. When he’s asked to protect Kiara Zamir, the daughter of a politician, old and new enemies emerge and they will both have to overcome their trust issues in order to survive.

What I thought:

My Rating: 5 Stars

“Baby, it’s either laugh or cry and crying takes way too much energy. If you can’t find humor in the shit life heaps on you, you really will grow miserable.”

I honestly don’t know what on Earth took me so long to read this series. It’s been on my to-read list for ages and I LOVE Sherri’s Dark-Hunter Series, so I always knew this one would be good. The world Sherri creates in this series is phenomenal and I loved being immersed in a universe so cleverly built. Sci-fi can be difficult to write, but I think Sherri’s talents have no bounds and she did the genre justice.

As always, Sherri has managed to completely suck you in and keep you addicted from page one. I really couldn’t put this book down and I just fell in love with all the characters. Nykyrian and Kiara are well-written characters with rich back stories that completely steal your heart. I cried for Nykyrian as the book went on and I just couldn’t believe the horrors that he survived. I did find Kiara a little slow at accepting the reality of Nykyrian’s way of life, but I think Sherri did a good job of maintaining her characters through the book. The romance was believable and enjoyable to read. I fell in love with Nykyrian more and more as the book continued and I really enjoyed that aspect of the story. The romance just fit in so well.

The side characters were great too and as expected, Sherri builds fantastic and exciting stories that you can’t wait to read. I’ll be devouring this series with gusto and I’m super excited to see how it progresses and which characters I’ll meet next.

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Robocop 2014

It’s been 27 years since the cult sci-fi classic Robocop shocked audiences with its violent murder scenes and satirical undertone. Since then it’s had two sequels, and last weekend the long awaited remake was released in cinemas. Being a huge sci-fi fan, I made my way to the cinema in anticipation, ready to see what the 21st century spin of this classic would be like.

Here’s what I thought in a nutshell – it was a good movie, but a bad Robocop movie.

What made the original so great? Besides the effects (which were great for its time) and the blatant satire of American capitalism, media and consumerism, the movie was a telling of human nature, the importance of individual identity and the consequences of having ones personality forcibly taken away. It’s the kind of message that transcends generations and has real world messaging especially in today’s society, where identities are built over social media and video games. Like many movies from the 70s and 80s, while it’s entertaining, it also holds a core message that people can relate to. Unfortunately, this is something the remake lacked.

I think in a way you expect certain things from a remake of any movie, is the main character the same? Do they stay true to the storyline? Are the small details that we love there? Going into this movie, I knew a few key things that went against the original from watching the trailer. Firstly, Robocop’s armour has been made black, which you wouldn’t think makes that big a difference, but it really does. Once they switch him to the black, he no longer resembles Robocop and they could have easily named the movie something else. While this doesn’t affect the movie as such, as a fan it changes the Robocop brand.

Secondly, the most important thing that they change is that Robocop has feelings. For anyone who knows the original, you’ll know that Robocop was completely emotionless for most for the movie, only becoming ‘human’ again towards the end when he unlocks himself. This is the key message of the movie, the idea that one’s personality cannot be removed, only suppressed. In this one he knows who he is, what’s happened to him and even sees his family. While the removal of his emotions and his gradual retrieval of them does take place, it’s only a short moment in the movie and doesn’t convey the essence of Robocop.  However, the one thing that they did bring through, although slightly differently, is the American satire. In this one, it’s more of a message about America’s willingness to pedal goods to foreign nations that they would never allow on their own soil.

For me the violence is one of the things that made the movie the cult classic it is, it’s what made the satire so compelling as it was so extreme, it almost gave merit to the message. If I had to give this one a ‘Robocop’ label I would call it a PG13 adaptation, maybe Robo 0.5. The violence is very soft with only a couple major action scenes.

But stepping away from the comparison, I quite enjoyed the movie. Michael Keaton puts on a stellar performance as Raymond Sellers, the man ready to remove a human’s freewill in order to sell his product. Gary Oldman brings to life a man conflicted, who ultimately needs to decide on humanity or money, with conviction. And Samuel L. Jackson, whose character is completely unnecessary to the story, brings in the comic relief. However, Joel Kinnaman, who plays Alex Murphy A.K.A Robocop, was the odd man out for me. His performance was average and, even without comparing him to Peter Weller, was very flat. He’s easily over shadowed by the rest of the cast. Plus the special effects were great. They show you what has been done to Murphy to make him into Robocop, giving you a unique view of the machine he is, and built a fascinating futuristic world that isn’t over the top different from now.

Overall, if you’re looking for a Robocop movie, you’re going to be disappointed. So put the original out of your mind, go in ready to see a 21st century sci-fi movie, and enjoy it.

Firefly & Serenity

x0ySJwtUhpv3ta7jxKOA31NTo1_500“We aim to misbehave”

I am a huge Joss Whedon fan, he’s got a killer sense of humour and an imagination that makes me want to marry his brain. I was addicted to  Buffy the Vampire Slayer (both the movie and series), Dollhouse and his masterpiece Firefly!

I actually stumbled onto the movie first. I walked into the DVD store one day, looking for something new to watch (which was kinda hard, as I’d pretty much seen everything back then), when the cover caught my eye. I asked the guy behind the desk if it was good and he told me he loved the series. I had no idea what he was talking about but I decided to give it a try… and the rest is history – of me watching the movie a million times!

I’m going to start with the TV series first because I highly recommend you watch it before the movie.

fire1What it’s About:

Five hundred years in the future, the world has changed, people live across the galaxy on terraformed planets or on spacecrafts floating through the vast emptiness of space. Firefly follows the journey of a wayward crew of renegades who make a living through thievery and helping people. The crew of the Serenity tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions, as well as authority agents out to get them.

What I Thought:

This really is one of my all time favourite series, I watch it all the time and even though there’s only one season, with only 14 episodes, it still has enough action, suspense and character building to keep you hooked.

The world Whedon creates is spectacular. It’s very basically described as a western in space, so it could fall under my favourite genre – Steampunk. The characters dress like cowboys, even their weapons look like old school guns. When they visit planets in the outer rims, they are cowboy like societies and the law is laid down like you would expect it to be done in a western. Only two languages have survived, English and Chinese, which are both spoken by everyone. The characters interchange between the languages very well and even though you might not understand the Chinese, you still understand what it is they are saying. I also love the way they speak, it’s all muddled and yet has more emotion behind it then the way we speak now.

fire womenBut, like all Whedon’s work, the characters are what makes this show. Which is why you’ll notice that he tends to use the same actors in all his series. River Tam is one of the best heroines I’ve ever seen and I’ve had many an envious thought about her. I love that her character is undefined and we spend each episode learning a bit more about her. I also think Summer Glau embodied the character so very well. In fact, all the females (both the characters and actors) in this series are kick-ass and amazing.  Zoey (Gina Torres) is the fighter, Kaylee (Jewel Staite) is the sweetheart mechanic and Inara (Morena Baccarin) is the ‘brains and beauty’ mix.

The men also kick-ass and keep you entertained. Mel is a true leader with too many secrets that you just want to suck out of him, and Nathan Fillion is the PERFECT person to play him. He manages to get Mel’s wittiness and strength spot on. I can’t imagine anyone else playing him. Wash is the one that keeps you laughing and personally I think Alan Tudyk is a genius! The man could act in anything and be incredible. Adam Baldwin plays Jayne, the trigger happy duchebag you love to hate. He’s surprisingly funny in this role, he’s got his own agenda and yet there’s a kinship that he shares with Mel. No matter how many times he threatens to leave, I really believe he never would. Shepard Book (Ron Glass) is one of those mysteries, he’s supposed to be a Shepard yet we know he was once more then that, he definitely has some ties to the Alliance. I could kidnap Whedon just so he’ll tell me what Book’s secrets are. Then there’s Simon Tam (Sean Maher) the big brother who gave up everything to rescue his sister… need I say more?

The story is so addictive and once you get sucked into this world you just want to stay there. I really enjoy the cleverness about this series, the mysteries to uncover, the countless laughs and the great action. In each episode we learn a bit more about the characters and see them doing what they do best – misbehaving.

Really? How can you not love a series where the most respectable person on the ship is the hooker?!

The Movie:

ser1When the series was cancelled Whedon had some angry fans on his hands who wanted to know how the story ended. So two years later he came out with the movie, Serenity.

The whole cast came back to tell us what some of the big secrets were. The movie is just as phenomenal as the series and, coming in at almost two hours, is action packed with River getting to show off what she can do. There were some real shock moments in the movie with some key characters getting killed off, and in the end the movie had a good conclusion, but an open one.

The real amazing thing about this series and movie is that you really can watch them over and over, enjoying them every time.

I really look forward to what Whedon does next.

mel1“Here’s how it is: The Earth got used up, so we moved out and terraformed a whole new galaxy of Earths. Some rich and flush with the new technologies, some not so much. The Central Planets, thems formed the Alliance, waged war to bring everyone under their rule; a few idiots tried to fight it, among them myself. I’m Malcolm Reynolds, captain of Serenity. She’s a transport ship; Firefly class. Got a good crew: fighters, pilot, mechanic. We even picked up a preacher for some reason, and a bona fide companion. There’s a doctor, too, took his genius sister outta some Alliance camp, so they’re keepin’ a low profile. You understand. You got a job, we can do it, don’t much care what it is.” – Mel, Firefly