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Showing posts from July, 2016

#RiversOfLondon #WhispersUnderground spoiler free mini review

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Whispers Underground is the third novel in the Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch, popularly described as a series where Harry Potter has grown up and join the London Met.
I don't like to go into too many details about the story so as not to spoil anything should you decide to indulge, but the series has developed the inclusion of magical and mystical brings and creatures gradually, adding further spells and species into this third installment whilst keeping one foot firmly in the reality of being a lowly PC from a black African background.
What I liked about this entry in the Rivers books is it is much less gruesome, and includes much less in the way of romantic overtones, focussing more so on the investigative side of things, with lots of exploration of old London town and lots of well written interviews with intriguing characters.
It's also incredibly believable, and whilst still being a fantasy detective novel is never so over the top to be absurd, which to me makes it all…

My Trip to old #London town for #NationalTrust , #HarryPotter #DoctorWho tours!

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Last weekend my friend Rosie and I spent a nice weekend travelling to London to partake in some good old fashioned tourism.
Driving from Birmingham to London, we first made a stop on Saturday at Cliveden Gardens; a National Trust property in Buckinghamshire. Looking like something straight out of Lewis Carol's Alice in Wonderland, Cliveden is a truly beautiful place with many water features and a variety of gardens, each ornamented with sculpted bushes and statues. Had we had more time and sunshine it would be a great place to spend an entire day. We've both decided to go back for a day with a supply of gin and cucumber sandwiches to indulge in on the stunning lawns. The house at Cliveden is actually used as a hotel and spa.


We then left to make our way down to Watford for a 2.00pm tour at the Warner Bros Studios for the Harry Potter experience. My 2nd time at the Harry Potter tour, I was excited to see what had changed, if anything. We had our obligatory Starbucks and a snack…

#blink182 #California

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Holy crap! A new Blink album! Without Tom! And with that dude from Alkaline Trio! What the fuck!? Cool, now that's out of the way, let's tell you what I think of the new record, as an avid fan of both Blink and Alk3.
What I like about this record is it actually sounds a little bit like everything that has come before, with definite tones, riffs and rhythms purloined from the extensive back catalogue of previous bands.
Opening track Cynical is a good, fast paced typically over produced pop punk affair, sounding almost a little like modern Less Than Jake. Mark and Matt's singing sounds great over the full and jumpy guitars.
Then we come to the first single, 'Bored to Death' which sounds like it'd fit at home on the Blink self titled album. Memorable lyrics and catchy melodies.
Los Angeles sounds like something of Crimson or Neighbourhoods, then She's Out Of Her Mind and Built This Pool sound like something lifted from Take Of Your Pants & Jacket! Which I …

#Armada by Ernest Cline mini spoiler-free book review

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I was really excited for Armada by Ernest Cline after reading 'Ready Player One' as I absolutely loved that story; it appealed to my inner geek with constant references to old video games and 80s movies. Armada does similar for geeky fan service, intertwined with a tale of MMO video games being used as a training tool by the government for preparing the human population for intergalactic war.
Okay, so the premise isn't completely original, and the whole point of the story is it's predictability, yet somehow the writing just didn't grab me as much as Ready Player One. The characters are relatable, and the descriptions of scenes, settings and ships are well told, yet the plot just felt TOO predictable at times. I think this is kind of the point, as about 2 thirds of the way through it starts becoming a bit "No, surely not, that's far too obvious to be right..." fully convincing you that a tsunami of a story twist is headed your way - and this kind of ar…

#SpiritedAway

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Only my second viewing of a Studio Ghibli film, Spirited Away tells the tale of a young girl, Chihiro, who when moving to a new home with her parents uncovers a deserted theme park/restaurant which she later learns to be a holiday retreat for a multitude of spirits.


She meets a boy named Haku, who helps Chihiro get herself a new life within the spirit realm, where she learns that the only way to exist is through tremendously hard work.

The tale is a captivating fairy tale, with beautiful characters and scenery throughout, with deep enough symbolism of capitalism and wasteful consumerism to make the story interesting for a mature audience, as well as being a fantastical journey for children. I could've watched the entire movie with my eyes closed, as the sweeping and frankly rather epic score by Joe Hisaishi, who has worked previously and since on many other animated features, really helps evoke the emotions within the story.


Mostly though, I can't get over how beautiful this…