Hail, Caesar | Review of ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’


By Cynthia Ayala

War for the Planet of the Apes starring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson & Steve Zahn
20th Century Fox
Image Credit: IMDB

“After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.” —IMDB

Wow. The Planet of the Apes franchise that Matt Reeves and team have given birth too is one so remarkable not only because it gives insight into the past but because it is systematically setting up the world fans know all about. But there is also a progression to the story line, a way it moves forward from the first film and develops those aspects from the first film. The series itself has led up to this amazing moment where it builds the characters, where it builds the story to this moment. There was no other way for the story to go, no other direction that would have felt so emotional and so grounded in reality as this franchise. It’s an amazing film that has the audience rooting against the humans and rooting for the apes.
Continue reading Hail, Caesar | Review of ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’

Fun Entertaining Sequel | Review of ‘Lifeblood’ (Everlife #2)


By Cynthia Ayala

Lifeblood by Gena Showalter
Harlequin Teen
Image Credit: Goodreads

“With her last living breath, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences. Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must launch her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. But Ten’s competition is Killian, the boy she can’t forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she’s never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory.” —Goodreads

Published February 28, 2017, by Harlequin Teen Lifeblood by Gena Showalter is the second novel in her YA fantasy Everlife series.
Continue reading Fun Entertaining Sequel | Review of ‘Lifeblood’ (Everlife #2)

Weekly Reading List #96


By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there readers! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. Man, with Planet of the Apes and Game of Thrones last weekend, I didn’t have any time to read…or type my reviews. So now I’m a little behind with catching up with my reviews and my reading list. Both were amazing by the way so I definitely recommend seeing both. But anyway, now that I’m all caught up on all that I can finally focus on my writing, reading and reviews! Woo! So check out this weeks latest reading list.
Continue reading Weekly Reading List #96

A Phenomenal Conclusion | Review of ‘A Million Worlds with You’ (Firebird #3)


By Cynthia Ayala

A Million Worlds with You by Claudia Gray
HarperTeen
Image Credit: Goodreads

“The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation. Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. Struggling to overcome the damage, he leaves Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake and Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.” —Goodreads

Published November 1, 2016, by HarperTeen A Million Worlds with You by Claudia Gray is the final novel in her Firebird trilogy.
Continue reading A Phenomenal Conclusion | Review of ‘A Million Worlds with You’ (Firebird #3)

Weekly Reading List #95


By Cynthia Ayala

Hello readers! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. War for the Planet of the Apes came out this weekend. I’m looking forward to watching it. So, stay tuned for that review. But amid work, and writing and working out, I’m making time for my reading. So check out this weeks reading list.
Continue reading Weekly Reading List #95

Mythically Captivating | Review of ‘The Library of Fates’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana
Razorbill
Image Credit: Goodreads

“No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now. When the unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, former prisoner of Sikander. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.” —Goodreads

Published July 18, 2017, by Razorbill The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana is a romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore.
Continue reading Mythically Captivating | Review of ‘The Library of Fates’

Not Great but Not Terrible | Review of ‘The Mummy’ (2017)


By Cynthia Ayala

The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance & Russell Crowe
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.”

    —IMDB

Where to start. Okay, so as a fan of the Brendan Fraser Mummy from back in the day, like many I was skeptical. But at the end of the day, I have to appreciate that this film was not a copycat. And it’s still funny. Tom Cruise has proven that he is a very versatile actor, and like many actors, he’s going to have some bad movies under his belt. This certainly isn’t his worst film but it’s not his best either, I’ll admit to that. Was the story the best? Certainly not. I’m going to go ahead and agree with some of the critics who question if the film would have been better had it not been so set on establishing the Dark Universe. Continue reading Not Great but Not Terrible | Review of ‘The Mummy’ (2017)

Weekly Reading List #94


By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there avid readers! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. It’s been a little stressful for me but overall, things are still going okay. All in all, things can always be worse. But that’s what reading is for, it calms me, makes me happy, and provides a stress free realm to lay in. So check out this weeks reading list.

1. The Library of Fates

by Aditi Khorana

A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore, perfect for fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn.

No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.

The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

2. A Million Worlds with You (Firebird #3)

by Claudia Gray

A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.

3. Lifeblood (Everlife #2)

by Gena Showalter

My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning.

With her last living breath, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.

Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right?

But Ten’s competition is Killian, the boy she can’t forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she’s never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory.

*Disclaimer: All synopsis are provided by Goodreads.

Magical and Brilliant | Review of ‘Akata Witch’ (Akata Witch #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Speak
Image Credit: Goodreads

“Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.

Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But just as she’s finding her footing, Sunny and her friends are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a career criminal who knows magic, too. Will their training be enough to help them against a threat whose powers greatly outnumber theirs?” —Goodreads

Published July 11, 2017, by Speak Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor is the first in her YA fantasy series where magic and culture collide. Originally published back in 2011, the novel is being republished to mark the announcement of a long-awaited sequel.
Continue reading Magical and Brilliant | Review of ‘Akata Witch’ (Akata Witch #1)

Who Says Crooks Can’t Be Winners? | Review of ‘Crooked Kingdom’ (Six of Crows #2)


By Cynthia Ayala

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Henry Holt and Company
Image Credit: Goodreads

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies, emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.” —Goodreads

Published September 20, 2016, by Henry Holt and Company Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo is the second novel in her Six of Crows duology, a YA fantasy following thieves as they do what they do best: scheme.
Continue reading Who Says Crooks Can’t Be Winners? | Review of ‘Crooked Kingdom’ (Six of Crows #2)

Bringing you the latest reviews on films & novels. – Cynthia A.

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