Wednesday, 29 February 2012

World Book Day and my Wednesday night

I’m alone in the house (apart from 3 sleeping guinea pigs), settled on the sofa and about to watch episode 4 of Being Human.  I have been looking forward to this moment since Saturday (ridiculously as Being Human has only been on my Sky planner since Sunday).

However, before I indulge myself in Annie, Tom and Hal’s world, I wanted to take a moment to let you all know that tomorrow is not only the first day of March (yay!), it is also World Book Day.  Unfortunately (from my childless point of view) World Book Day is aimed at encouraging children to read.  Fortunately I know a lot of people with children!  Information, games and whole lot more can be found on the World Book Day website;

For adults, there is World Book Night (when all of the children are tucked in bed asleep) on 23rd April, details of which can be found here; (more on that nearer the time).

I have scanned the World Book Day website and was made to feel very old in that I didn’t recognise the books (except Where’s Wally – classic).  I didn’t feel that I could comment on this other than to maybe give a list of my favourite childhood books which led to a depressing search online of a lot of the authors of my long lost favourites (excluding Roald Dahl of course) only to find that the books were nowhere to be found.

However, there is a link to Quick Reads which are short books written by best sellers and celebrities with the aim of encouraging busy adults to stop and read, and they’re cheap!  Only £1.99 a book –

So now that I’ve made myself feel old, I am going to embrace my age and go back to watching Being Human, with its violent and emotional scenes and foul language. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Into Every Generation (A belated review of Ep1 Grimm)

I am a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and one thing that has always stuck out to me from that programme was the line ‘into every generation a slayer is born.’

This is true.  Ok, maybe a slayer isn’t born to every generation.  What I mean is a lot of teenagers go through that supernatural (usually vampires) phase and each generation of teenagers will hook onto a new franchise/film/programme.  Buffy belongs to my generation, Twilight is probably this generations.

I finally got round to watching the first episode of Grimm, a little late I know.  At first I wondered if this was an attempt at the new generation.  The next Buffy, it is after all created by the makers of Buffy, although I must point out not Joss Whedon (the genius mind behind such creations as Buffy, Firefly and the upcoming Avengers film).

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.  If it is, then these things have come on a long way since good old Buffy.  Is it me or is the theme of a small girl being abducted and kept in a creepy house actually quite scary?  Maybe it’s not and I’ve just reached that age where the realism hits me.

Anyway, Grimm.  What an interesting concept; the family of Grimms can see what others cannot; all manner of creatures and it is their duty to document them and, I assume, handle them when need be.  In the first episode we meet Detective Nick Burkhardt and his partner Detective Hank Griffin.  Burkhardt discovers that he is the last Grimm as a girl out jogging in a red jumper is torn to pieces in the woods.  Shortly afterwards a small girl, also in a red jumper, is snatched while walking to her grandfathers.  That’s right, you guessed it, Little Red Riding Hood.

I admit I was fascinated by this premise.  A small shiver of anticipation went through me at the concept of a modern Little Red Riding Hood and a new view on werewolves.  They aren’t called werewolves in Grimm but they’re done a whole lot better than they are in Supernatural (whose werewolves are basically people with sharp teeth).  

The first episode was done well.  It introduced us to the characters nicely as well as a wonderful gothic feel of woods, moonlight and the creaky, beautiful American houses in Portland, Oregon.  It focuses on a well known fairy tale and a well loved villain, the Big Bad Wolf.  You feel as if you are in your comfort zone but able to welcome new ideas into the story.

Unfortunately I feel nothing for Burkhardt so far, in fact I haven’t warmed to any of the characters yet.  The names given to the ‘werewolves’ and other creatures haven’t stuck, and I wonder when they will and the first episode left a lot of unanswered questions, more than it should of.

This doesn’t mean that I won’t watch the second episode, sitting patiently on my Sky planner.  In fact I find my mind keeps returning to Grimm which must be a good sign.  I will give Grimm another go.  I am also a little curious to see how far these fairy tales will take the series.

Grimm is a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Castle, it has hooked into that popular and intriguing crime and troublesome but thrilling supernatural gap in the market and I can’t think of any other programmes that tick all of these boxes.

Has anyone else watched Grimm?  I’d be interested to know what other people thought.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Going through changes

As you may have noticed I have made a few changes to the blog.  Over the weekend I joined Twitter (finally) and discovered Word Press, created a whole new blog and then decided this one was better.  Weekend well spent, I'm sure you'll agree.

I also reviewed my list of 10 favourite sci-fi/fantasy books (see the list on the right).  I have now finished World War Z and have removed it from my top 10.  It started off very well, interesting and fast paced, but towards the end I became bored with the lack of civilian accounts.  Unfortunately I had to force myself to read the last few pages.

So I have replaced it with Something Borrowed by Paul Magrs.  This is the second book in a series about a middle aged woman named Brenda who runs a B&B in Whitby and is actually centuries old and is made up of various peoples body parts.  Yes, she is the bride of Frankenstein.  These books are very clever, well writter and funny.  They are light hearted, supernatural stories that are very difficult to put down.

The second book is in the list rather than the others because I prefer this one to the first book and I haven't read the others yet.  I'm currently reading Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding which may make the list once I've finished it.  Despite dropping off my favourites list, I'm still looking forward to World War Z hitting our cinemas in 2013 (in the UK).