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?

 

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Book Watching: Not every day a movie gets called “unreleasable.” Also Dracula.

Book Watching

This week, I got movies on my mind. Books-to-movie adaptations, that is. Here are some of the book-related movies on my feathery radar…

Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness

Chaos Walking.JPG

I haven’t read anything by Patrick Ness, but when I heard that his series was being turned into a movie, I went straight to the synopsis: “A dystopian world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear each others’ thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise.”

And my first thought was: Immersive visions of other people’s thoughts? Can you even do that through a movie?

Turns out, maybe not.

Between a release date that got pushed out from March 2019 to sometime 2020, news that the movie is undergoing major reshoots, and the word “unreleasable” floating around, it’s definitely not good news for this adaptation. Fede Alvarez (The Girl in the Spider’s Web) has come in to do the reshoots, which will cost the Lionsgate another $15 million on top of the $100 million already spent on the movie.

On the bright side, this does mean I have some extra time to read the books.

Release Date: 2020?

Dracula 

Writers Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) and Steven Moffat (Sherlock, Doctor Who) are teaming up for a three episode miniseries adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula for Netflix and BBC.

What’s it gonna look like? Sounds like it’ll be a period drama retelling of the 1897 original, with Claes Bang is attached to play Dracula himself.

Release date: Many question marks. Moffat and Gatis finished the script in January 2019.

War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds.JPG

The classics, they are a-coming. As BBC miniseries.

Here’s another one. H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds is coming to BBC for an eight-episode alien invasion sci-fi period drama thriller. Much like BBC’s Dracula adaptation, this War of the Worlds adaptation will also stay true to the book’s historic period and will be set in Edwardian London. (Though it sounds like its two main characters will be new additions.)

Gilles Coulier (Cargo) and Richard Clark (Versailles) will each direct four of the eight episodes.

Release Date: Sometime in 2019.

Watchmen

Somewhere beneath all the Game of Thrones chatter and hype, HBO is coming out with another book(ish) adaptation. It’s the comic book, Watchmen, back for another stab at the screen.

Check out the ten seconds of footage at 0:12

The fact that they already have footage gives me hope that we’ll see the show soon. Looks like screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Cowboys & AliensPrometheusStar Trek Into Darkness, and Tomorrowland) will be doing a more loosely inspired adaptation of the comic. After the almost painfully faithful (yet not-quite a hit) panel-for-panel Zach Snyder’s 2009 movie adaptation, I’m totally ready to see something new and current from this ten-episode show.

This adaptation promises a pretty good lineup of talent, with Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune), Regina King (The Leftovers) and Golden Globe-winner Don Johnson (Miami Vice) taking lead roles. They filming in spring 2018, so we should be getting a official trailer or promo soon.

Release date: Sometime in 2019.

What adaptations are you most looking forward to?

 

Book Watching: Fairies, daemons & Catch-22.

Book Watching

I’m back, and here are some book-to-movie trailers to distract you from how long I’ve been away. Enjoy!

Artemis Fowl

Based on the canary favorite Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, the first trailer has us exchanging cautious looks. With director Kenneth Branagh (Murder on the Orient Express, Thor, Cinderella, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) at the helm, it could turn out to be a lot of things. Plus, when one of the book’s cornerstones is its humorous writing style, how do you translate that into a movie?

Actor lineup features a couple new (or relatively new) faces. Artemis Fowl will be played by newcomer Ferdia Shaw, while Captain Holly Short will be played by Lara McDonnell. Of the more established names, we have Judi Dench and Nonso Anozie to play Commander Root and Butler respectively.

Let’s see how it goes this fall.

Release Date: August 9, 2019

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

If fun fairy spy adventure romps aren’t your thing, but you still end up at a theater on August 9, we’ve got you covered. Looks like everyone’s favorite traumatic childhood memory has now been adapted for the big screen.

Horror director André Øvredal (Trollhunter) is leading this adaptation, and if you want to know more, you’re gonna have to look it up yourself, because memories of this terrifying collection are flooding back and I am noping my way out of this post.

Release Date: August 9, 2019

His Dark Materials

Okay, so this one is actually, honest-to-goodness happening and I am stoked. We last chirped about this show in fall 2016, and between the trailer and actor lineup, it looks like His Dark Materials will be well worth the wait.

I mean, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda? Yes, please.

More excitingly, main heroine Lyra will be played by Dafne Keen. If Keen’s showing in Logan is anything to go by, she will rock Lyra’s half-feral fierceness.

Plus, chatter is that this 16-episode show has already been confirmed for two seasons. Looks like it’ll be airing on BBC One and HBO.

So yeah. Let’s do this.

Release date: Not soon enough. (Filming wrapped December 2018, with a 2019 release.)

Catch-22

“That’s some catch, that Catch-22.”

Check out what just dropped in trailer-world. Joseph Heller’s dark satire about war is coming to the screen in the form of a Hulu miniseries. And though I’m definitely on the fence about adding another show to my list, the supporting actor has me intrigued. See: George Clooney, Hugh Laurie and Kyle Chandler.

Release date: Friday, May 17

Canaries, what adaptations are you most looking forward to?

 

Today’s Book Blurb: Pretty Cover Edition (again)

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

Okay, this is the second time in a row I’m derailing this series in favor of cover art, but seriously. This is some lovely design work. Who cares about story when you could have this on your bookshelf?

Storm

“They are the daughters of a king. Though they share the same royal blood, they could not be more different. Bluebell is a proud warrior, stronger than any man and with an ironclad heart to match. Rose’s heart is all too passionate: She is the queen of a neighboring kingdom, who is risking everything for a forbidden love. The twins: vain Ivy, who lives for admiration, and zealous Willow, who lives for the gods. And Ash, who is discovering a dangerous talent for magic that might be a gift—or a curse.

But when their father is stricken by a mysterious ailment, they must come together on a desperate journey to save him and prevent their treacherous stepbrother from seizing the throne. Their mission: find the powerful witch who can cure the king. But to succeed on their quest, they must overcome their differences, and hope that the secrets they hide from one another and the world are never brought to light. Because if this royal family breaks, it could destroy the kingdom.”

– Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins

 

What books have caught your eye recently?

 

Today’s Book Blurb: Pretty Cover Edition

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

Who cares about book blurbs when there’s a pretty cover involved? This one’s a stunner. Sure, it’s from a third book in a series I haven’t read. But come on. Isn’t it gorgeous? (And, if you’re on Netgalley, it’s a free download.)

Chaos

“Ruxandra Dracula, a 250-year-old vampire, wants nothing to do with the fallen angel that created her. But when fellow vampire Kade tells her a group of magicians in Moscow is going to summon that angel, Ruxandra knows she must try to stop them.

In Moscow, Ruxandra finds herself caught in a web of political and supernatural intrigue. Empress Anna of Russia wants the vampires to be her spies. Her secret police have magic that is nearly impossible to defeat. A cadre of Russian nobles wants them to kill the empress.

And the Alchemist, the beautiful, whip-smart leader of the magicians, wants Ruxandra as more than just an experimental subject.

As the magicians prepare to summon the fallen angel, Ruxandra must choose: will she kill them to keep the angel from coming, or face the angel and find out her purpose on the earth?

– Mother of Chaos by John Patrick Kennedy

 

What books have caught your eye recently?

 

Book Watching: So many TV-comic adaptations…

Book Watching

This week, I’ve got comics on my mind. Comic-books-to-TV and movie adaptations, that is, and there are a lot hitting the small screens soon. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get excited about any of these yet. Maybe the first episodes will change my mind?

This is happening:

Inhumans

Oh ABC. You’ve got to commit.

So the costume reveal went over like the-Friday-before attempt at a cosplay, and the first trailer wasn’t any more encouraging. They’ve since redone the trailer, but it still looks low budget as hell. What can I say, we’ve been spoiled by the movies, and we’re not going back.

Movies have raised the bar on superhero action sequences, and shows have got to be either super smart about the superpowers they showcase (Legion, Sense 8, Agent Carter, Jessica Jones, etc) or put their budget where their mouth is (Heroes, Supergirl, Constantine). Or, you know, embrace the camp a la Freeform. But you can’t waffle and then expect to eat your waffle and have it too.

Release date: September 29, 2017. So, this Friday.

The Gifted

Fox looks like it’s going to try a bit harder with this Heroes meets X-Men show which follows a couple mutant powered kids whose father works for the creepy government agency charged with catching and containing mutants. I wonder if we’ll get a lot of awkward Breaking Bad-style dinners out of this one.

On the bright side, Amy Acker will be in this show. (Unfortunately, looks like she’ll be playing Mom-normal. As opposed to, you know, a badass hacker assassin prophet (Person of Interest) or soulless alien goddess (Angel).) Continue reading

[Book Review] Conceptually intriguing, casually terrible

Eyre Affair.jpgBook Review: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

So many things to dislike, so little time to talk about them all.

(Spoilers ahead. All the spoilers, because idgaf.)

I rarely try books more than once, so I should have trusted my gut when I got stuck a couple chapter in – not once but twice. But this week, I got the audiobook, because I really wanted to get through this book about a murder mystery in an alternative history fantasy world of time travel and literature. Lesson learned, because this book was terrible.

I grit my teeth through the prose style and weird perspective shifts. I was willing to suffer through the self-indulgent literary babble and fangirling, because, okay, literature is as religion in this world, and as a book lover, I totally get it. I even powered through the weird inconsistencies: Okay, this universe has casual time travel, and yet the biggest mystery in Fforde’s world is the identity of the true author of Shakespeare’s plays? And Thursday is the first person ever to ask a time traveler to check? Fine, whatever. Continue reading