Book review: Horns, by Joe Hill; Movie review: Horns staring Daniel Radcliffe

7715246 Horns-Comic-Con-poster-Daniel-Radcliffe-691x1024

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge. . . . It’s time the devil had his due. . .

I am going to combine my reviews and will mostly be comparing the book and the film.

I saw the movie more than a year ago because I was able to sign up to be in a test audience. I haven’t seen the finished version that was released this fall and am relying on my memory. I’ll eventually see the version that was released.

I finished the book a few days ago, and I can definitely say it’s better than the film. (Sometimes I tend to favor the version I saw or read first. This was not the case. Though, I did picture Daniel and Juno when I read the book.) There were changes and omissions made for the film that I felt made it a different story.

I would rate the film 3 out of 5 Horns, and the novel 5 out 5 Horns.

To go into more detail and be on the safe side I’ll put all the spoilers below.

Continue reading

London Day 5 – Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Itinerary: Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

I am so behind with getting these ten days in London posted. Continuing on!

After breakfast we purchased our tickets for Buckingham Palace online. The morning time slots were booked and the next available one was for 3:30. We had to rearrange our plans a bit.

First we went to Trafalgar Square to see the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. Yay for free museums!!

Trafalgar Square is turning into Times Square with the ridiculous characters. I saw a Mickey and Minnie Mouse soliciting for tips to take photos with tourists. I don’t get it in Times Square and I especially don’t get it in Trafalgar Square. There were also people costumed as Yoda or the Grim Reaper. They looked like they were suspended in air but were really sitting in a harness that was hidden by a long robe.

There were also chalk artists who drew some really cool sketches. On this day I saw someone drawing Watto from The Phantom Menace. The previous Friday I saw an artist drawing Jim Morrison. I would have taken photos except I wasn’t sure if I had to pay for one and I didn’t want to pay a single pence.

IMG_3677 IMG_3679 IMG_3682

I love that in the National Gallery you can take photos. With a limited amount of time we could only see the highlights of the museum and so we followed the suggestions in my travel book. There was a section with a map of the National Gallery and where to find certain works of art.
Continue reading

New York Comic Con 2014 – Sunday, October 12

Got a bit of a late start. After packing everything up and leaving the luggage with the concierge we got to Javits around 11am. First thing we did was get wristbands for Sleepy Hollow. Just as I thought, there was no reason to be there at the crack of dawn; there were plenty of wristbands left and we didn’t have to wait on line. It took two minutes to get them.

So until the afternoon we roamed the exhibit hall and artist’s alley.

My luggage and carryon was already so full and heavy with books that I had to stay away from the publishing booths, but I picked up only one book. It’s an ARC of Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton.

I stared reading it that afternoon when I was waiting on the Sleepy Hollow queue. Here is a description and my review:

For readers of A Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games comes an epic new series.

The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor. As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world. And she’ll be with the boy she loves–who’s also her best friend.

But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes. Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought.

And now it’s too late to walk away.

It was an enjoyable read. The world building was well done. It is very much secluded to their world though. I often wondered if the consequences of the Seekers’ actions in the world would come back and have a bigger impact on the whole of the story. It was briefly mentioned in passing, but this is the first book of a series and so it is possible that we’ll see the repercussions of that night on global scale.

The start to developing the characters was good. They have a mix of strength, determination and flaws. You certainly understand their motivations. I liked that it was told from different point of views. I must say though that that love triangle was weak, especially on Quin’s part. Some of her feelings came on too suddenly.
Maud was my favorite character. I found her and her history to be the most interesting of all.

It is described as “For readers of A Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games comes an epic new series.” It is a very tame GoT (the PG-13 version).

The action was good, however, some parts lacked suspense. I put the book down for a week around the beginning of part three. Also, and maybe it’s not fair to judge too harshly since it is an ARC, but it did get repetitive about the time jump. It got to a point where I would think to myself how many times in a chapter will we be reminded that some time has past? I lost count.

Although I lost some motivation to continue reading, I did finish and it has interested me enough to see what the next book brings to the story.

3 out 5 athames

In artist’s alley I bought this print of Padmé Amidala from Jason Palmer:

IMG_4818 IMG_4788

My sister and I looked through his portfolio and he has many great drawings from different fandoms. Here are several examples:


Next time I’ll get the one of Arrow.

Victoria asked if he does any commissions and he said he does not at the moment because he is so busy.

Sleepy Hollow
Sunday, October 12| 3:00 PM-4:00PM| Main stage 1-D

The guest speakers were: actors Orlando Jones, Lyndie Greenwood, Sakina Jaffrey; and producers and writers Len Wiseman and Alex Kurtzman. 

Continue reading

New York Comic Con 2014 – Saturday, October 11

Started out the day by first going to Stephen Amell’s autographing table. He’s really nice and as gorgeous in person as on TV. I really didn’t say anything awe inspiring. In fact I made a joke that I was repeating what the woman ahead of me already said (as well as hundreds of other people) that I loved the Season 2 finale fight between Arrow and Slade. The choreography and the editing was edge-of-your-seat thrilling. Stephen said it’s a fan favorite and that he wishes they put a “making of” feature on the DVD. I hinted that they can do so for a special edition box set.

As I was talking to Stephen, the volunteers or security pointed out to my sister that the man with the baseball cap standing behind Stephen was Colin Donnell (Tommy Merlyn). More about him later.

Today I wore most comfortable cosplay ever – a Hogwarts student uniform. I wore my Hufflepuff tie and pullover sweater with a black skirt, stockings and shoes. I brought Hermione’s wand with me. I have another that I bought at Universal Orlando, but Hermione’s is the prettiest.
My sister and I also participated in NY Harry Potter Meet Up group’s photoshoot. It was a lot of fun. We posed in different group shots: as a whole, different houses, humor battle scenes, etc.

After the Harry Potter photoshoot we got some snacks and went to the queue for the Empire Stage. My friend, Nikki, was already inside and had been most of the day. She worked her way up to the front row. My sister and I got into the room during the panel right before Stephen’s. It was for a show called Powers and honestly the only thing about that got my attention was that Eddie Izzard was there.

Stephen Amell Spotlight
Saturday, October 11|4:30-5:30|Empire Stage

All thanks to Nikki, we got front row seats. 😀 I got some awesome photos and at some points made eye contact with Stephen.

So this was the weekend right after the season 3 premiere aired. Stephen said the first thing he asked the producers after he read the script was, “Are you sure?” Sara was a well developed character and Caity Lotz will be missed. 😦

Coming up there will be crossover episodes with The Flash. 1×08 of The Flash is called “Flash vs Arrow”. Stephen joked it should be reversed, purely for alphabetical reasons. 3×08 of Arrow is called “Brave and the Bold”.

Most of the panel consisted of questions from the audience.

When asked about what pranks John Barrowman has done on set Stephen said that when filming “Sacrifice” he was all chained up and wet. On the first take John gave him a purple nurple. *cringes* Ouch.

Stephen is dedicated and enthusiastic about Arrow. For Oliver and Felicity’s first date when he mentions she was chewing her pen, Stephen re-watched 1×03 for accuracy.

He also recalls other details and made suggestions. In the pilot Oliver easily breaks out of zip tie cuffs. When he is tied up by Slade during Moira’s murder, Stephen said they better really do it like Christian Grey bondage. LOL. Well, it wasn’t quite like that but he was bound up enough not to escape.

For the fall finale coming up Oilver fights two people while shirtless. There is something to look forward to. 🙂

On a less shallow note, Stephen did say that filming Moira’s death was the most difficult – emotionally.

This was such a funny question. Someone asked in the context of the show where do they get their superhero costumes? Is there a store? Do they know how to sew?
Stephen was silent for a moment, which ensued laughter from us, then said it’s “better left unexamined.” This then started a reoccurring question of where is Diggle’s costume?

Speaking of Diggle, he’s not a character from the DC comics. He’s an homage to Andy Diggle who wrote for the Green Arrow comic books.

When asked about other DC characters coming on, like Nightwing and Harley Quinn, they are restricted with Gotham being on TV. Instead of bringing in the big guns from DC, they’ll bring the niche characters. 

IMG_4725 IMG_4729

Continue reading

New York Comic Con 2014 – Friday, October 10

Friday, October 10, 2014

Like at Book Con, the Main stage was cleared after each panel. To get in they gave out bracelets each morning, starting at 10, for each panel. I liked this system so much. It prevents people from staying in a room all day for one panel in the late afternoon. I wish they had done this last year. Then I could have seen the panel for Reign.

Victoria and I got our bracelets for the Elementary panel, then roamed the exhibit hall. My sister didn’t have a ticket for Thursday so I took her to see all the things I saw the previous day. The life size E.T. doll at NECA. The Hobbit figures at WETA. The Hallmark booth. We also went to The Colorful Geek booth. I bought a couple of more t-shirts.

I also have another shirt from The Colorful Geek that I bought several years ago that says “Mischief Managed”, and I have the Marauder’s Map. Vic and I should get red wigs and go as Fred and George one year. LOL


Elementary Panel and Exclusive Screening
Friday, October 10| 12:45 PM-1:45PM| Main stage 1-D

Continue reading

New York Comic Con 2014 – Thursday, October 9

This post has to start off with the total mess that happened back on June 26th when purchasing tickets for NYCC. In past years I could purchase my 4 day ticket when I got home in the evening, or even wait till the weekend. I think last year 4 day tickets sold out in 8 weeks. Well this year they had a Special Edition Comic-Con in June that was for comic books only. At this SE they gave attendees the opportunity to buy 4 day, and I think 3 day too, NYCC tickets before the general public. Also, they could buy up to 6 tickets. Christmas for scalpers, as evident buy the sale of tickets on various online sites for insane prices.

Well, I should have known better, because when it came time for the 4 day ticket sale to the general public, they sold out FAST. When I went on to buy them that evening – I was too late. For the 3 day ticket sale date, I made sure I was online, at the site, and refreshing until they went on sale at noon. After being in a virtual queue for 25 minutes I got through. First they asked a dumb questionnaire to make us more anxious and nauseous. They couldn’t save that for after the purchasing portion? After I answered whatever the survey asked I got to the page I wanted and it says 3 day tickets are sold out. UGH! So I buy the single day tickets. Then the page refreshed itself and 3 day was available. Phew. So, I got a 3 day for me and one for my sister. I also bought a Thursday ticket for myself.

They have to do something about this mess. Either don’t sell tickets for NYCC at Special Edition Comic-Con (which there will be another one in June) or limit to 2 per person. Not 6 for Pete’s sake. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

This was the first time I decided to split a hotel room with some friends rather than commute back and forth each night and day. Saved me a lot of time and exhaustion. Why had I never done this before?

So after checking in and casually making our way to the Javits Center, I just roamed the exhibit hall. I didn’t have a panel to see till the evening so I just took my time. I picked up some free books, bought some books, took pictures of Hallmark ornaments. Bought some things from The Colorful Geek. I’ll show you some photos below.


Continue reading