Saturday, June 6, 2015

Review of Artful by Peter David

  As always there will be spoilers, so if you don't want any please don't read the review.

 I recently read the kindle version of Artful by Peter David. I've always liked his books, especially his Star Trek novels, so I knew this would be well written and entertaining. The book is written in the style of the original Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and the reader should have read that novel before reading this one. There are many references back to the original Dickens novel and it would be a shame to miss them. The main difference between Dickens novel and David's humorous continuation is the addition of vampires.
  The basic premise is the story of the Artful Dodger after the end of Oliver Twist. Now, at the end of Oliver Twist it is implied that the Dodger is sent off to Australia, which was a prison colony at the time. In Artful, he avoids that fate and stays in England. The reader also discovers that Fagin, who was hung in the original novel, survives his fate also. This is due to the fact that he is a vampire.  Dodger meets up with several interesting characters including; the future queen of England, Van Helsing, Mr. Fang (a magistrate and vampire), and several lesser-known but important government officials.
  Mr. Fang and his vampires have a plan to rule England by turning the royal family into vampires. As the young princess has sneaked out to explore the city around her, the vampires close in to grab her and change her into one of them. All that stands between the vampires' plans of ruling England is the Artful Dodger.
  I enjoyed this book a lot. The writing was smart and entertaining. The characters were well-developed and likable. The plot was smart and tense enough to keep you turning pages the whole way through. If you liked books like Pride and Prejudice and zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire hunter this is similar to that kind of blending of old literature and humor. I would recommend it.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Changes and reviews

So, I'm changing this blog once again. I think I'm going to focus on reviews and opinion pieces and less on poetry and fiction. I'm going to do my best to commit to a post a week and hope I can manage more. This week's review is going to be on movies. There will be spoilers, so if you don't want that please skip the reviews.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
I rented this a little bit ago and found it to be as good as the others in the series. The new productions of the Planet of the Apes movies have been really well done and surprisingly thought provoking. The third movie in the series, Dawn shows the aftermath of the second movie and fast-forwards through a brief record of the Simian Flu that has killed off a significant portion of the human race. It then picks up with the ape society who have been living in a forest in California with no contact with humans in years.Of course, this can't last and a group of humans find themselves running in to the apes.
 Things slowly fall apart from there. Although Caesar and a few of the humans try to keep the piece, it is not possible. One of Caesar's closet friends, Koba, betrays his ideals and arranges the escalating situation to paint the humans as the aggressors. Koba leads the apes against the humans, starting the violence that will eventually lead to the society in the first Planet of the Apes movies.
 The effects are incredible and the story line is solid. You really feel for the apes and the humans both. The humans are try to stay alive in a world without most of the basics of society. The apes haven't forgot the experiments that the humans subjected them to and some are not willing  to have the humans live anywhere near them. The inevitable fight at the end was fraught with emotion on all sides. And I enjoyed the quieter story lines between Caesar and his son and the human family interacting with the apes. On the whole, a well-balanced movie and worth watching.