fantasy

REVIEW: “Doctor Who: The Shining Man” by Cavan Scott

shiningSo, I finally managed to finish a Doctor Who book that didn’t involve the War Doctor. And I enjoyed the heck out of it! Doctor Who: The Shining Man is one of the three most recent Doctor Who novels published by the BBC recently. It is written by Cavan Scott and involves the Doctor and Bill investigating strange events that have been happening in a small British town.

The Shining Men are everywhere. You spot them out of the corner of your eye. Abnormally tall, with long lank hair, blank faces, and blazing eyes. If they catch you, they’ll drag you away to who knows where. No one is safe. They’re on every street corner. Waiting. Watching. Shining bright. Of course, it’s a hoax. It has to be, right? It started as a joke, a prank for Halloween. Then it went viral. Idiots dressing up as monsters. Giving folk a scare. Silly masks and fright wigs. No one gets hurt. Because bogeymen aren’t real. Until people start going missing and lights burn in the darkness. Burning like eyes. But help is on its way, in the form of a strange man called the Doctor and his friend, Bill. The Doctor will keep us safe. The Doctor will stop the monsters. Unless the monsters stop the Doctor first… (Courtesy of the BBC summary)

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REVIEW: American Gods S01E02 – “The Secret of Spoons”

american gods10The second episode of STARZ’s new show American Gods has been uploaded to their website, and I have just watched it, so, it’s time to review it! This week’s episode was written by Michael Green and Bryan Fuller and was directed by David Slade. (It’s worth noting that this week’s Coming to America segment was directed by Guillermo Navaro.) In The Secret of Spoons, Shadow (Ricky Whittle) experiences a number of odd events as he and Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) begin their quest to recruit the Old Gods for the coming battle. He and Shadow travel to Chicago where Shadow agrees to a very high-stakes game of chess with the old Slavic god, Czernobog (Peter Stormare). This review will contain spoilers, so if you’ve yet to see the episode, don’t read the review! The short and sweet of it is: it’s a really good episode. It builds on everything that made the first episode good and pushes the show forward. Now, if you continue reading this, I’m assuming you’ve seen the episode. Last chance to turn back! (more…)

REVIEW: Doctor Who S10E04 “Knock Knock”

doctor-who-knock-knock-promo-pics-11The fourth episode of the tenth series of Doctor Who has just aired, so it’s time to review it! This week’s episode of Doctor Who was entitled Knock Knock and was written by Mark Bartlett and directed by Bill Anderson. In this episode, Bill (Pearl Mackie) and several of her friends move into a creepy old house owned by a mysterious Landlord (David Suchet). As the house starts making noises, Bill’s friends begin to disappear. What is causing these noises and disappearances, and can Bill and the Doctor put a stop to it before it’s too late? As always, this review will have spoilers for the episode – so, stop reading now if you haven’t seen it!  (more…)

REVIEW: Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

51izuxor7hlWelcome to Night Vale: A Novel is the first novel in the Night Vale series (based off the popular podcast of the same name) written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel expands the universe of the podcast as we follow two women, Diane Crayton and Jackie Fierro, whose (already weird) lives get turned upside down when a man in a tan suit with a deerskin briefcase gives them both a piece of paper with the words “KING CITY” written on it. Their individual quests for answers will lead them on a journey that will change how they look at themselves, and at their families. (more…)

REVIEW: Welcome to Night Vale (season 4) by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Standing and Breathing

Fan art I made using the poster for “Ghost Stories”

As script books have only been released for the first two seasons of Welcome to Night Vale, all further reviews of the podcast itself will be based solely on the content of the podcast and the plots therein. In season four of Welcome to Night Vale, Night Vale faces a threat so terrifying that there seems to be nothing they can do to defeat it: a terribly cute beagle puppy and his army of tall, faceless strangers who only stand and breathe. Hiram McDaniels faces trials for his crimes against Mayor Cardinal, Desert Bluffs and Night Vale become one city, and all of Night Vale is under threat from one cute puppy who may not be all that he seems.

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REVIEW: American Gods S01E01 – “The Bone Orchard”

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Shadow Moon (Whittle) in The Bone Orchard

After years spent in development hell, a television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel, American Gods, has finally premiered on STARZ. American Gods tells the story of the battle between the Old Gods of classic mythology and the New Gods of modern America (Media, Technology, etc) for the ultimate control of America’s faith. In this first episode, The Bone Orchard, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) is released from prison after the death of his wife, Laura (Emily Browning). He meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) and is recruited to be his bodyguard. As Shadow is drawn into this mysterious world, he discovers this may be more than he bargained for. Note: as the episode is already available on the STARZ website, there will be spoilers in this review!  (more…)

REVIEW: Mostly Void, Partially Stars (Welcome to Night Vale, Episodes Volume 1) by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

414sdbffdalMostly Void, Partially Stars is a collection of the first year’s worth of scripts (and the script of the first live show Condos) from the podcast Welcome to Night Vale written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. In addition to the scripts, Mostly Void, Partially Stars contains introductions to every episode featuring behind the scenes tidbits such as the inspiration for the episode or how it was put together. In Mostly Void, Partially Stars, readers are introduced to the town of Night Vale and Cecil Palmer, the host of the local community radio station’s news show. As the story begins, a new scientist, named Carlos, arrives into town, sparking interest from Cecil. Coinciding with this event is the discovery of a civilization underneath one of the lanes in the bowling alley. As the year goes on, these plot threads will collide in a major way. This review will be in two parts; the first reviewing the book itself, the second reviewing the content of the scripts and the first year of the podcast as a whole. (more…)

REVIEW: Doctor Who S10E02 – “Smile” (spoilers)

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       The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Bill (Pearl Mackie)

We’re back for another review of Doctor Who! As always, this review will not be spoiler free, so if you’ve yet to see Smile, then you should probably watch the episode first. This week’s Doctor Who is called Smile and was written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce and directed by Lawrence Gogh. Smile takes the Doctor and Bill into the distant future as they land on a planet inhabited by microbots whose sole job is to make sure the humans who will soon be living there are happy. However, something has gone wrong, and these microbots have killed the entirety of the skeleton crew (the group of humans sent to prepare the planet for colonization). It’s up to the Doctor and Bill to find out what’s happened and why before the colonists arrive and suffer the same fate as the skeleton crew.  (more…)

REVIEW: Dimension 404 – “BOB”

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                BOB gets one last Christmas wish

I wasn’t planning on reviewing any more episodes of this show until the season had finished, but I just watched today’s new episode, BOB, and I had to review it. It’s such a sweet, moving episode, I was actually brought to tears by the end of it. It took five episodes, but Dimension 404 has definitely managed to reach its full potential. Per Hulu’s website: “As a holiday terror threat looms large, an Army psychologist races against the clock to treat the strangest patient of her career – and the only one who can save Christmas – BOB, a depressed NSA supercomputer made entirely of human flesh.” (more…)

Review: All Hail (Welcome to Night Vale – Live)

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                      All Hail tour poster

Welcome to Night Vale‘s latest live show is All Hail, a tale about the one and only Mighty Glow Cloud (all hail). All Hail played the Carolina Theatre in Durham on April 14, 2017, and I had the chance to attend the show. It was my first ever Night Vale live show, and it couldn’t have been a better first experience. The atmosphere of the event was one of a large community; everyone had gathered there to see and participate in this theatrical event. There were people of all genders, races, and sexualities there and everyone was immediately accepted. People dressed up in costumes: there were Ericas (angels), Hooded Figures, Cecil’s and Carlos’s, and – my personal favorite – one person dressed up as Fey, the computer that read the numbers for the numbers station in episode 42 of the podcast. This is what greeted me as I arrived at the theatre; I hadn’t even entered it yet! Everyone was gathered outside in a waiting area and you could see all the costumes on display and everyone socializing and meeting new people. It was a beautiful moment. And then the doors opened.

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