The Magician’s Nephew

The Magician’s Nephew

This is the first book of the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. It starts off with a boy named Digory. He meets a girl named Polly and they become friends. Digory is staying at his uncle’s house while is father is fighting in a war and his mother is deathly ill. Digory and Polly have many adventures together including going up to the secret part of Polly’s attic.

            One day, they plan to go exploring and try to get into abandoned houses. However, the plan doesn’t work, and they end up in Digory’s uncle’s forbidden study. Polly touches a beautiful ring she likes and suddenly disappears. Digory then has to go save her. He takes a ring too and disappears. He takes two rings of a different color that will bring them back.

            They both appear in a forest. The forest just consists of trees and a variety of small pools. It is quite mysterious. Once knowing they can get back, they decide to explore more. They end up in a magical yet silent creepy land. They are in the courtyard of a castle and walk around. They eventually find a large room full of silent waxy figures. In the front of the room, there is a bell and a hammer. Digory goes against Polly’s warning and rings the bells.

            A beautiful yet fierce woman awakes. Her castle starts to fall apart, and she must escape with the children. Polly knows she is bad and Digory doesn’t care. Polly tries to escape with Digory and without the woman, but the woman holds on. They go back to Earth where the woman (who is actually a witch) wants to rule over the humans like she did in her original world. She goes with Digory’s uncle all over town, stealing things and trying to just cause chaos.

            In the end, there is a big crowd in front of Digory’s house. The witch is quite strong and starts to cause even more problems. Digory and Polly decide to try and teleport away with the Witch. They take a few other people (and animals) along too. They end up in the beginning of Narnia which is just pure darkness. A magical song starts, and Narnia begins to come to life. Aslan the Lion appears and begins to select animals to talk.

            There is a conference and they disband. Digory and Polly then go to meet the Lion. The Witch and Digory’s uncle have both run off. The children meet Aslan and learn more about Narnia. The first book ends with one of the people Digory and Polly took becoming King of Narnia. Eventually, the children and some of the other people go back to Narnia, leaving the Witch and King. They get back to their world where no time has passed. The book pretty much ends there and transitions onto the next book.

            I really enjoyed this book. It again has been recommended to me by a friend. Though I haven’t watched the movies in a while, I can say the books are much better. The movies also skip some of the books which doesn’t make sense. This book was made and is based around the 1950s, this means that some of the words and phrases may have different meanings or just aren’t used today. Some of my favorites are “you naughty little boy” and “I do say”. Overall, I think this book is very good and should definitely be on your reading list. My book set has all 7 books in one but the 7 books in the series are usually individual. Anyways, yes read it.

            I would give this book an 8.5/10

It: Chapter 2: Movie Review

It: Chapter Two

Description: It Chapter 2 directed by Andy Muschietti, is the sequel to the remake of It which was made in 2017. It picks up 27 years after The Losers Club defeated the demonic clown called Pennywise. A young homosexual man named Adrian Melon is enjoying the carnival with his boyfriend when homophobic locals attack them. They are harshly beat Adrian and he is thrown into the river. His boyfriend looks over the edge to see a mysterious figure help him out of the river. Just as his boyfriend feels relieved, the clown takes a bite out of him. Mike Hanlon, a member of the Losers Club finds out about this and realizes it’s time to call everyone back to Derry to finish what they started. Ever since defeating the clown, the Losers lived their lives separately, mostly moving on to a future out of Derry. Therefore, when Mike calls them, they all have seemingly forgotten what events had transpired 27 years before. Most of the Losers show up, one last time to finally finish the clown off. Even if it means death they will do anything to defend the kids of Derry from sharing a similar fate to the countless lives lost. Especially Bill Denbrough, whose brother Georgie was taken by Pennywise. Together, Bill Denbrough, Eddie Kaspbrak, Beverly Marsh, Ben Hanscom, and Mike Hanlon team up to prevent any further destruction to the town of Derry, Maine once and for all.

Pros: The actors/actresses chosen for this movie, I personally loved. They seemed to have a good connection with each other and looked like older versions of The Losers Club.

Cons: It: Chapter 2 is supposedly considered a horror movie when it’s just suspenseful. It failed to deliver on that horrifying Pennywise that was depicted in the book and was very bland.

Rating: 7/10

 

 

 

Overall Score: 7/10

Haikyu!! Season 1 Review

Haikyu!! Season 1

Haikyu!! is an anime about a passionate, young boy named Hinata Shoyo who yearns to play volleyball despite his short stature and his journey in high school as he learns how to be a team player and continually strives for success.

I’ll start off this review by saying I previously loathed any type of sports anime, in fact volley ball is probably my least favorite sport to partake in. Taking this into account I was understandably skeptical when my brother emphatically told me to watch this show. Reluctantly, I did, and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest.

Probably the biggest strength of this anime is its ability to draw you into the action. The smooth, dynamic animation during the volleyball games effortlessly builds suspense, making you feel as if you’re there playing along with the characters. Every time the characters triumph, you feel excited along with them. And every time they lose despite their best efforts you feel the bitter sting of defeat as well. This effect is only possible because the characters are–surprisingly–well developed and you grow attached to them over the course of this season.

Starting off Hinata–the main character– is lively, optimistic, and incredibly determined. At the beginning of the show he is convinced that all that is to volleyball is winning, that if he loses all his efforts mean nothing. As things progress we see him slowly move from this mindset and its satisfying to see his growth. He’s honestly a pretty common shounen (action) anime protagonist but what makes him so compelling is his relationship with his volleyball partner, Kageyama. The way they play off of each other is amusing and their friendship strengthening their entire team is interesting to see. Kageyama’s stoic attitude contrasting Hinata’s excitable one creates a nice dynamic and adds to what makes this show great.

Another big positive, and surprising aspect of Haikyu is how it can be realistic at times. Just because the main team tries hard does not mean they win in the face of experience. I won’t spoil anything but this edge of realism plays into some major plot points and is what sets this sports anime apart from others. There are many good aspects to this show, however there are a few negative ones too. Firstly if your not into over the top dramatics this anime might not be for you. All the characters take volleyball extremely seriously, almost to a comical level, and if you’re not a fan of that mellow drama you might not like Haiyku. My biggest complaint however, is how the character’s lives aren’t shown much outside of volleyball. While this does put emphasis on the game’s importance to the characters, I still felt like a little something was missing.

Overall Haikyu!! was a surprisingly good show and I would recommend anyone who likes anime to give it a shot.

The Mandalorian: Episodes 1-3

The Mandalorian

Star Wars fans have been waiting a long time for some good content. We thought the new trilogy would do the job, but boy, were we wrong. It’s no wonder younger generations don’t quite get the Star Wars hype of the 70’s and 80’s when those are the kind of movies we get delivered.

In strolls The Mandalorian.

Cool is not enough to describe it. The plot so far is awesome, the characters just as amazing, and the shot composition actually being utilized! We’re only 3 episodes into what I believe will be 8, but I’m already in love.

It has been so long since I’ve seen some genuine, good sci-fi. The Mandalorian drops you in with no explanation whatsoever: no narrator, no over-the-top dialogue, and no iconic opening text scroll. The missing yellow words were a shock at first, but it made me realize that I much preferred it this way, and they wouldn’t be needed anyway. There’s hardly anyone left who doesn’t know at least something about the far off planets of Star Wars.

Even still, we are thrown into this new quarter of the world and are expected to find our way through. The show guides us slowly, with small comments from the characters that help you place where in the timeline this is taking place as you slowly piece together just what the heck is actually going on.

The show thoroughly feels like part of the Star Wars universe, with both new and familiar alien races, references to events we’re familiar with, and of course, the general aesthetic, though it’s much grittier in this tale.

The plot so far is really intriguing! It’s easy to follow yet has tons of room for speculation. Importantly, the show stays focused. There are no tangents or drawn out moments. Not once was I even a little bit bored, which is rare for me. Many of the mysteries of the show have an added layer if you know the plot and details of trilogy of trilogies well, but I can’t get into much more without spoilers.

As for the characters, I love them! All of them are brand new, though they may echo races and groups we’ve seen before. The main character, thus fur unnamed, is fun to watch. At first he seems stoic and it’s hard to imagine that he might portray anything beyond coldness, but we seen in the first episode that it’s easy to get both comedic and emotional moments out of him. Props to his actor, Pedro Pascal, for managing all that through voice and body movements alone! It can be hard to act when a character is constantly wearing a mask. Beyond Mr. Mandalorian himself, there is also another smaller, cuter character that has taken the Internet by storm. No spoilers, but you don’t want to miss out on that one.

This show is also insanely pretty to look at. The shots are beautiful and effective, which is vital since we get quite a bit of storytelling done through them. The cameras preform excellently in both the calm moments and the hectic, always making sure the screen is filled but not crowded.

If you couldn’t tell yet, I love this show. I recommend it to everyone, Star Wars need or not, though it’s streaming exclusively on Disney+, which may restrict its access. Still, I hope you all can enjoy the best Stars Wars content in ages and join me, and many, many others as the rest of The Mandalorian’s story unfolds.

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by: Stacy McAnulty

Cover of The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

*This is a book from the middle school list of Battle of the Books!* (2019-2020)

Lucille (Lucy) is a special girl. When she was struck by lightning when she was five years old, she became a math genius. Lucy has many interesting facts about her, like she can memorize about the 100 first digits of pi. She also can’t sit down until she’s done it thrice. She’s been homeschooled ever since the accident; online courses and college credits are all she does at home. She’s lived at home with her grandmother, and her uncle is in the army so he’s not really home a lot. Lucy thinks she knows all, but she isn’t expecting one more twist of events …

Lucy’s 12 years old now and her grandma has decided on a little something. She thinks Lucy is ready for middle school! She’s decided on a challenge for her to accomplish: read one book that’s not math related, join one activity, make one friend, and stay there for at least one year. All these ones!

Lucy hates middle school even before she goes there, but it’ll be a clean slate for her since nobody knows her little secret. She’s still dreading it, and before she knows it, she’s got to go. Will she survive the horrible place of middle school and accomplish the goals her grandmother has set for her? Or will she sink and fail?

I rate this book a 8/10 because I felt like too many parts were a little bit boring. The plot wasn’t bad, but this genre wasn’t really my type. However, for the readers who like realistic fiction with a twist, this one tops the cherry to the pie! Enjoy this hilarious book full of acceptance and friendship while navigating the confusing halls of … MIDDLE SCHOOL!

Deep Water by: Watt Key

Cover of Deep Water

*This is a 2019-2020 middle school BOB book*

Julie’s parents are divorced; during the school year, she’s with her mom, who’s a lawyer, and in the summer, she’s with her dad, who’s the president of his own deep sea diving company.

When Julie’s dad has two (suspicious) clients call them for a dive, he lets them come on a dive, but only because he needs the money. Julie is reluctant but agrees to go so . . .

Julie, Julie’s dad, Shane, and Shane’s dad go out for a deep water dive, but Julie’s dad didn’t feel good so he stayed on the boat.

While Julie, Shane, and his dad where diving, Julie looks around to see that the anchor is gone! With the annoying and complaining clients, Julie must keep them alive and find a way back home.

Surviving storms, sharks, off-courses, and sickness, Julie, Shane, and his father have got to survive . . . or die.

Who lives? Who dies? Who goes crazy? I don’t know, you’ve got to read the book to find that out.

I give this book a 10/10 because I loved it that much. I could not put down this book and it took a day to finish it. I loved it. I’m sure you will too if you like adventure and survival stories. Enjoy!

Maximum Ride series – a review

Cover of Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

Maximum Ride by James Patterson

The Maximum Ride series has a total of nine books: Angel Experiment, School’s Out – Forever, Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, The Final Warning, Max, Fang, Angel, Nevermore, and Forever.

Overview: Maximum (Max) Ride is a fourteen-year-old mutant bird kid. You read that right, mutant bird kid. She and her friends grew up in a lab called the School, where they were genetically modified to have bird powers – including the wings. After escaping the school with the help of a man named Jeb, the were in hiding until Jeb – you know, I better not say that. Anyway, the “flock” is suddenly on their own again, fighting evil wolf-like creatures from the School called Erasers. They travel around the country, in search for a home, their parents, and anywhere the Erasers and the School can’t find them. Max soon hears a voice in her head, guiding her and telling her what to do, and it soon tells her she needs to save the world. Can she save it from whatever may be threatening it? Read the series to find out!

Characters: Maximum (Max) Ride, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel (I’ll let Max tell you about these guys – she knows them best) Other characters – such as Jeb – don’t last very long, and they will be described in the books as well.

Rating, Review, and Recommendation: I got into this series through a coloring book. Yes, that’s right – a coloring book. My mom had gotten me a Max Ride coloring book for my birthday, simply because “It had James Patterson on it and the people look like fairies”. As I looked through it, I realized it looked pretty cool. And then I remembered my school’s library had that same series. So, I checked out the first book – Angel Experiment – and instantly fell in love with it. I finished it in two days, and then the second, third, and fourth books I read in a day for each. The fifth, sixth, and seventh I read all in one night. The last two took a day for each as well. I’ll admit it – I was (am) obsessed with the Maximum Ride series. I hung onto every word, and couldn’t put the book down. When I told myself I’d stop at this chapter, I read like five more chapters and before I knew it I was done the book without even looking up. Of course, if you don’t read as fast as I do, that’s totally fine, it gives you more time to savor the series. I’ve always been a huge fan of James Patterson books, and Maximum Ride is no exception – it also paved way for me to discover even more of his books (the Witch and Wizard and Confessions series, for example) and even though there’s lots of series and books I love, Maximum Ride comes out on top (with the Lemencello series by Chris Grabenstein coming in very close second). Okay, now I’m just ranting. I would totally recommend this series to anyone reading young adult novels (specifically teenage girls, but anyone is welcome to read them). They’re filled with humor, action, adventure, and, yes, even a little romance. For the rating, I really can’t rate it, because any high rating I give it, there would always be a higher rating. So, for the rating, I’ll give you this: I rate the Maximum Ride series the highest rating you can think of.

I didn’t give a very long overview because I don’t want to spoil ANYTHING. I want you, if you choose to read the series,  to experience it all for yourself. So what are you waiting for?! Go get Angel Experiment, unfurl your wings, and take off on an unforgettable journey!