This month in the mine shaft: November

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  • Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs ★★★★★
  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir ★★★★☆
  • Nightlife by Rob Thurman ★★★★☆
  • Allie Beckstrom Series #1-5
    • Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk ★★★★☆
    • Magic in the Blood by Devon Monk ★★★★☆
    • Magic in the Shadows by Devon Monk ★★★☆☆
    • Magic on the Storm by Devon Monk ★★★★☆
    • Magic at the Gate by Devon Monk ★★★☆☆
  • Kate Daniels Series #6-10
    • Magic Rises  by Ilona Andrews ★★★★★
    • Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews ★★★★★
    • Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews ★★★★★
    • Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews ★★★★☆
    • Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews ★★★☆☆
  • The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith ★★★☆☆
  • Mind Games by Carolyn Crane ★★★☆☆
  • The Wing Commander’s Curse by Gillian St. Kevern ★★★☆☆
  • Vicious Circle by Linda Robertson ★★☆☆☆
  • Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold ★★☆☆☆
  • Sacrificed in Shadow by S.M. Reine ★★☆☆☆
  • The Vampire Knitting Club by Nancy Warren ★★☆☆☆

Onward to December! What’s on your to-read list?

 

 

Book Watching: Yeah, these aren’t happening.

Book Watching

Are these shows even happening?

We’re being skeptical canaries about the chances of these being made anytime soon.

The Fifth Season TV Show

fifthseasonI first heard murmurs in 2017 that N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season was being adapted for TV by TNT, shortly after I finished the book (five stars, all the way). And then things went quiet. Real quiet.

As networks start looking around for the next “Game of Thrones” epic fantasy success, this could be a contender. Then again, part of the power of this novel was its three interlinked but non-chronological timelines, making this a harder post-GOT sell than the more linear Wheel of Time or Lord of the Rings.

Likelihood of being made? Until I hear different, I’m downgrading this adaptation to “Unlikely.”

The Dark Tower TV Show

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If you had asked me last month, I’d have given this show a negative 5% chance of being made. Between the source material—a first book that reads like someone telling you about their half-forgotten, meandering dream—and the fact that even Idris Elba couldn’t save the 2017 movie adaptation from it’s 16% Rotten Tomatoes rating, I was a skeptical canary.  But, apparently, an origin story reboot is in the works, thanks to a push for content by Amazon.

Showrunner Glen Mazzar (The Walking Dead) is on board, along with actors Sam Strike (Nightflyers) and Jasper Pääkkönen (BlacKkKlansman) who will play Roland and The Man in Black respectively.

Likelihood of being made? Yep, it’s being made.

Continue reading

Book Watching: Do we need another Lord of the Rings? (Also: Game of Thrones & Narnia?)

Book Watching

This week, I got movie adaptation of fantasy classics on my mind. Here’s the latest on The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and The Chronicles Narnia

 

Lord of the Rings (Prequel)

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Welp, canaries. We’d pretty much come to terms that we wouldn’t be getting any more Tolkien adaptations from Warner. What with the Tolkien estate all but saying that they’d rather set their entire archive on fire before letting Warner Bros get their mitts on any more properties. (No, they didn’t actually say that, but they probably thought it.) Then, just last month, they went and disavowed Disney’s Tolkien biopic in no uncertain terms.

So the ball has been bounced over the Amazon who came in stage right and dropped $250 million to get the rights make a Lord of the Rings prequel series (like, thousands of years before The Hobbit) with an option for spinoffs. It’s early days, but with Amazon pouring in a gazillion dollars and filming scheduled for August, I’m gonna call it a done deal. We’re getting a prequel.

Though, to be honest, canaries, I just can’t seem to work up an appetite. After the exhausting slog that was the Battle of the Five Armies, do we really need more Lord of the Rings? And with the time jump going way back thousands of years to the second age, does it even matter than it’s Tolkien’s universe?

Writers J.D. Payne and and Patrick McKay (whose only IMDB credit so far is Star Trek Beyond)  are attached to the show so far. So there’s that.

Release Date: Meh. 2020?

Game of Thrones (Prequel)

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Remember when Breaking Bad was the show to watch? Then it ended and got a critically acclaimed prequel spinoff that no one really talks about at the office cooler? And then there’s the’s Fear the Walking Dead that, dispite mixed reviews is still going strong towards a fifth season.

So yeah, there’s clearly a market for spinoffs.

Continue reading

This month in the mine shaft: May

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  • Nightmare Ink by Marcella Burnard ★★☆☆☆
  • Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks ★★☆☆☆
  • The Invisible Library Series ★★★★★
    • The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
    • The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
    • The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman
    • The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman
    • The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman
  • Working Stiff by Rachel Caine ★★★★☆
  • Legion Series ★★★★★
    • Legion by Brandon Sanderson
    • Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson
    • Lies of the Beholder by Brandon Sanderson
  • Innkeeper Chronicles ★★★☆☆
    • Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
    • Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews
    • One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
  • Alex Craft Series ★★★☆☆
    • Grave Witch by Kalayna Price
    • Grave Dance by Kalayna Price
    • Grave Memory by Kalayna Price

 

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(But what’s this, two novels with the same title? Stay tuned for a battle of the Night Lives and their goth protagonists.)

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Book Watching

Onward to June! What’s on your to-read list?

 

 

[Book Review] In which I re-evaluate my bias against magic libraries

 

Book Review: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Canaries, this is the book I was looking for when I had my ill-fated encounter with The Eyre Affair in 2017 and swore off all book-themed fantasy novels. Little did I know that The Invisible Library was out there.

Two years later, here I am, eating my words. Fantasy books about books can be excellent.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (and the rest of the series) combines the high stakes of a spy thriller with the shenannigans of fantasy novel, populated with colorful characters, an intriguing and competent main lead, and several series level mysteries that kept me hooked. Continue reading

Book Watching: This Golden Compass trailer is everything

Book Watching

Oh my. Canaries, this trailer is everything I could have asked for from a Golden Compass/His Dark Materials TV show adaptation.

His Dark Materials

Last month, we were twittering our excitement about this show’s star lineup (Logan‘s Dafne Keen as Lyra? Yes please.), and this month we got a treat. The trailer for Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials adaptation is out!

We’re so ready for this show.

Don’t fail us now, HBO.

Release Date: Sometime “later this year.” And we can’t wait.

How excited are you about this adaptation?

 

Book Watching: Two Pratchett shows and another try at Dune.

Book Watching

This week, I got movies on my mind. Good Omens, The Watch, and a possible Dune adaptation (yes please).

Good Omens

Based on the humorous romp through the end of times in Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett. This six episode series is coming to BBC and Amazon Prime at the end of the month, and I am looking forward to checking the reviews and then maybe diving in. Full disclosure, I have a I-love-it-but-I-hate-it relationship with the book.

But there’s definitely a list of votes in this show’s favor. For one, I’m delighted to see David Tennant playing the demon Crowley and Benedict Cumberbatch coming on as Satan. Douglas Mackinnon (Sherlock) is directing, with Neil Gaiman as the writer (woohoo!).

See you all on the other side.

Release Date: First episode airs next week, May 31, 2019

The Watch

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Speaking of Terry Pratchett…BBC America is looking to do an adaptation of another one of Pratchett’s books, this one from the Diskworld series.

Continue reading

[Pitch Slapped] A blurb shouldn’t need a glossary

Today’s blurb is brought to you by sci-fi fantasy sequel The Anmorian Legends: Legacy of the Sentinels by indie author Dhesan Neil Pillay.

Here’s the blurb that landed on our sacrificial altar:

“Following the battle between Thaedis and Rezaaran, The Anmorian Legends: Legacy of the Sentinels sees the young War Mage embark on a journey of redemption. However, in the wake of Thaedis’s victory on Zynoo, the Intergalactic Revolution of Independent Systems (IRIS) has lost a considerable margin against the tyrant’s Obsidian Dominion. The hope of freedom seems ever more distant.

Despite the odds, Rezaaran remains steadfastly determined and endeavours to unite a group of fabled warriors. But will this be enough to save Anmor from the coming darkness and defeat the nefarious villain who has bested him once before?”

The first, feathery impressions:

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You can probably tell that I was thoroughly confused.  Are Thaedis and Rezaaran names of countries or different factions? Is Zynoo a place? What’s the connection between the young war mage, Thaedis, Rezaaran, Zynoo, Anmor, Obsidian Dominion, and the Intergalactic Revolution of Independent Systems? what is a “journey of redemption” and why? How is finding fabled warriors a redemption plot?

I went back and read the blurb for book one to see if that might help me figure things out. Continue reading

Today’s Book Blurb: Shark punching and Sherlock?

The latest, greatest and (sometimes) strangest blurbs from the book world.

You don’t have to be a die hard Sherlock Holmes fan (which I am) to appreciate this blurb. (But before you read the blurb, check out the cover. For a split second, aren’t you convinced this is a story about Sherlock Octopus? Alas.)

Letter

“Upon returning to the city of Khelathra-Ven after five years fighting a war in another universe, Captain John Wyndham finds himself looking for somewhere to live, and expediency forces him to take lodgings at 221b Martyrs Walk. His new housemate is Ms. Shaharazad Haas, a consulting sorceress of mercurial temperament and dark reputation.

When Ms. Haas is enlisted to solve a case of blackmail against one of her former lovers, Miss Eirene Viola, Captain Wyndham is drawn into a mystery that leads him from the salons of the literary set to the drowned back-alleys of Ven and even to a prison cell in lost Carcosa. Along the way he is beset by criminals, menaced by pirates, molested by vampires, almost devoured by mad gods, and called upon to punch a shark. “

—The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall

 

Canaries, what books have caught your eye recently?

 

Book Watching: The new Watchmen trailer doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy.

Book Watching

It’s Wednesday! Time to talk about the latest book and comics adaptations coming to the small and big screen near you. This week, I’m revisiting last week’s post to talk about show on my feathery radar…

Watchmen

Just a few days after I chirped about the 10-second Watchmen clip in HBO’s 2019 season feature trailer, we got ourselves a full trailer! And, canaries, I’m torn. I want to like this, but I’m kinda creeped out.

Now, I hear you that the original was all sorts of bleak, and the comic had all sorts of things to say about society, and that the show is looking to set up some sort of Anonymous-Hacker vs Big Government plot. But check it: an anonymous militia of white dudes in white hoods framed against christian symbols as our protagonists? That doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy.

Also, that ticking trailer effect? The Wrinkle in Time trailer totally did it first.

 

Canaries, how did this trailer make you feel? What even is this show’s demographic?