Andrea Blythe (blythe025) wrote,
Andrea Blythe

Books Completed and Movies Watched in April

Been a slow reading and watching month for me, it seems, so I'm putting them together.

Books Completed:
1. The Atlantis Complex, Artemis Fowl #7, by Eoin Colfer
2. The Space Between, by Brenna Yovanoff
3. The Last Guardian, Artemis Fowl #8, by Eion Colfer
4. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

1. The Atlantis Complex, Artemis Fowl #7, by Eoin Colfer
The seventh book in the Artemis Fowl series has our young mastermind facing off against his worst enemy yet — his own mind. After years of scheming, wicked deeds, and messing around with fairy magic, Artemis has developed a disease that afflicts guilt-ridden fairies, called the Atlantis Complex. Symptoms include obsessive compulsive disorder, paranoia, and multiple personalities. All this coming at a time when his friends desperately need his help the most.

It was such a wonderful relief to revisit characters I love after such a long time. Holly and Butler still kickass and Mulch Diggums is repulsively hilarious. Artemis is the only one who doesn't fall back into his role as genius mastermind, because of his disease, though he still manages to be clever despite that.

With all the stress I've been going through lately, this was the perfect action adventure with fairies for me to read right now. Great, light fun.

2. The Space Between, by Brenna Yovanoff
Discussed elsewhere.

3. The Last Guardian, Artemis Fowl #8, by Eion Colfer
Opal Koboi rears her evil head with the most dramatic and violent prison break in history, putting Artemis Fowl and his friends right in the center of it. Artemis, still shaken from his experiences in the previous books, doubts his own ability to plot out a solution to Koboi's plan, which could change the face of the entire planet.

Being the last book in the series, it's natural for Colfer to want to go out with bang. He does just that in terms of consequences for his characters and the world in which they live.

I can't say I enjoyed this one as much as I did several of the others. It was fun and clever, but didn't draw me in as much as I'd hoped. The beginning was a bit clunky in terms o how it handled backstory and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the ending. It's a good read, but I don't know that it was an entirely satisfying ending to the series. But at a certain point your boy genius is going to grow up and become just a man, and that's not really what this series is about.

4. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
(I've been working on this one since January, so four months of reading.)

"All happy families resemble one another, each un happy family is unhappy in its own way." A fantastic opening line for a book about the complexities of people and relationships and all the ways they are joyful and miserable at the same time.

Anna is an interesting character, not necessarily a good person, but someone with whom I can sympathize due to her position as a woman in that world. In many ways she was trapped by her situation without and easily way out, though perhaps if she had a different temperament, she might have made better peace with it.

Levin was interesting, too, in the way he tries so hard to be good and do good. He's an easily distracted personality, who changes his opinion as he tries to figure out what the truth of the world is. He's moved by his love for Kitty and is astounded by the momentousness of marriage and children, while being heartily confused by politics and the intrigues of city life.

Several times I was fascinated by the way Tolstoy presented the complexities of his characters and their relationships with each other, as well as the hypocrisies of life (which seemed to have been one of the major themes of the book).

This is one of those books that I enjoy in an intellectual way, without much of an emotional connection to the story and characters. There were parts that I plowed through quickly, not wanting to put the book down, and parts that dragged along slowly. It was enjoyable, but didn't quite inspire love.

New-to-me Movies Watched:
1. The Captured Bird (short, 2013)
2. Lawless (2012)


1. The Captured Bird (short, 2013)
In this short film, a young girl wanders into an eerie house and discovers dark creatures there. I can't really say more than that without ruining it (and that's what's on the back of the box). I received this DVD because I helped fund the project on kickstarter.

There's been a lot of rave reviews about this little dark fantasy and I hyped it up to epic proportions in my mind, so there was no way it could do anything but disappoint — which is unfortunate. I think it is very cool with some genuine creepiness to it, but it ends so abruptly that I wasn't sure how to feel about it. (I think seeing it in a theater, in the dark, without distractions would have dramatically changed the experience, too.)

I need to watch it again to see if I'll appreciate it more on the second time around, once I've shed off all the hype.

I will also add that the extras alone are worth it, because the director's Horror film school series of videos is awesome.

2. Lawless (2012)
A movie about bootleggin in the '20s, which was simultaneously boring and awesome. There were points where I felt it dragged terribly and points where I sat rigid in my seat, totally enthralled. I think my problem was that I didn't get any of the three brothers (especially the middle one) or their motivations, so I couldn't connect or really care. Also, evil man is swishy and finicky and OCD, all of which just seemed so played out. Overall it wasn't outright terrible, but it was definitely hit or miss.
Tags: books, movies, reviews

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