Things I love (and you should too): November (belated)

Books I love: Technicolor Ultra Mall

Technicolor Ultra Mall by Ryan Oakley

Technicolor Ultra Mall is amazing.

Now, as you may have guessed from the title of the blog, I am a bit snobbish. I find that aspect of my personality comes out the most when I read books. I become a literary Shiva, praising and destroying every written work I come across.

This book committed one of the many sins that prompts me to rip things apart: there’s no hint of the main plot until halfway through the novel. And I didn’t care, because Ryan Oakley had sucked me into this ultra violent cyberpunk esque world and I just wanted to lie back and look at it all. This book is really good. It’s packed to the brim with social commentary. The red levels feel so real that I feel grimy just reading them, like part of me lives there. The technology feels real and it’s rules are established and followed. All of the characters are three dimensional. I was especially impressed by Harmony, the protagonist’s love interest. I just loved this book.

And you should love it.

Shows I love: Transformers Prime

Is it just me or did the intensity of children’s shows change while no one was looking?

Transformers was originally developed to sell a toy line. The cartoons have stayed in pretty shallow territory, with possibly Armada as an exception. Though the animation in the pilot was great, the story seemed to be staying true to the Transformers usual: big robots, epic punch-up, annoying humans and then something explodes.  The only thing different was the influence from the IDW comics.

Oh boy, did that influence ever come into play later.

In Transformers Prime, the characters are soldiers. They regularly kill. The lives of the humans are put at constant risk. Arcee suffers from PTSD. The characters relationships have been taken up to another level. It’s just wow.

The IDW comics are fantastic, and this show is fantastic.

And you should love it.

Movie I love: Night Watch

I had my doubts, I really did.

I started the book, but I had to take it back before I could really get into it. I saw the trailer multiple times and still didn’t watch it.

Why didn’t I, I don’t know.

It moves a little awkwardly in parts, and there are bits of confusion, but Night Watch is fantasy gold. I usually can’t stand urban fantasy. A lot of it is the same stuff, same characters, same cliches. I’m being too generous–most of it devolves into cliches and becomes like hot waxy syrup dripped right onto the brain. Night Watch  is one of the few unique pieces of urban fantasy that I’ve seen. Perhaps this is because the book the movie is based on was written before urban fantasy became an “it” genre. 

The movie is packed with excellent effects, subtle social commentary, and an intense character arcs. The movie avoids the cardinal sin of most of these things; focusing on the powers rather than the characters. There are so many layers to this that I don’t want to go into it because you are going to see it.

and you should love it.

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