Category Archives: Reviews

Mediocre but Entertaining | Review of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’


By Cynthia Ayala

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales starring Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley & Geoffrey Rush Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Image Credit: IMDB

“Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon while being pursued by an undead sea captain and his crew.”

    —IMDB

Yet another Pirates film. I missed out On Stranger Tides, although I was told I didn’t miss anything considering it was terrible. Not that I was surprised. But considering this film was returning to its roots with a ghost story, well I thought I would give it a try. What did a get? Just more of the same, nothing new, nothing fresh, only mediocrity.
Continue reading Mediocre but Entertaining | Review of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’

Captivating from Beginning to End | Review of ‘Out of the Shadows’ (Shadowlands #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

Out of the Shadows by Ashlee Nicole Bye
Huntuzie Press
Image Credit: Ashlee Nicole Bye

Death. So delicately controlled by reapers of The Order of Dark and Light, is being threatened by an ancient enemy, and in the hidden streets of the Shadowlands, no one is safe while darkness and light struggle against an enemy of power. For Sachi, it’s even harder. Following the death of her friend, Sachi has not been able to cope, especially once she sees him alive again, battling against a Reaper with the keys to her heart. Sachi shouldn’t be able to see them at all, the dead and mystical. She wants answers and is willing to do whatever it takes to get them. Even die…

Published May 4, 2017, by Huntuzie Press, Out of the Shadows
by Ashlee Nicole Bye is her debut novel following mystical elements familiar to young readers who read The Mortal Instruments.
Continue reading Captivating from Beginning to End | Review of ‘Out of the Shadows’ (Shadowlands #1)

A DC Miracle | Review of ‘Wonder Woman’


By Cynthia Ayala

Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen & Elena Anaya
Warner Bros. Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, Princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.”

    —IMDB

As a comic book fan and reader, I tend to set my standards high, especially for DC because those are the comics I buy. But ever since The Dark Knight, there hasn’t been a decent DC film. Until now. Personally, they either miss the mark on understanding the characters (Harley Quinn being the exception) or lack the humor needed to keep the audience entertained between all the drama and darkness. Wonder Woman doesn’t do that. Wonder Woman gets everything right and let me say this, it was amazing.
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A Beautiful Debut | Review of ‘The Girl in Between’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Girl in Between by Sarah Carroll
Kathy Dawson Books
Image Credit: Goodreads

Homeless but not alone, a young girl lives with her mother in an abandoned mill worried every day that the authorities are going to take her away. But with developers coming their way to tear the place down, she must contend with her mothers’ personal demons and the ghosts of the past haunting them.

Published June 20, 2017, by Kathy Dawson Books, The Girl in Between is the debut novel by Sarah Carroll, a young adult tale about family, homelessness and the love between a mother and daughter.
Continue reading A Beautiful Debut | Review of ‘The Girl in Between’

Worthy of the name ‘Alien’ | Review of ‘Alien: Covenant’


By Cynthia Ayala

Alien: Covenant starring Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston & Billy Crudup
20th Century Fox
Image Credit: IMDB

“The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.”

—IMDB

Alien: Covenant does its predecessors proud…for the most part. While the film was overly amazing, at the end of it, it’s clear that it suffers from some continuity issues. But I’ll get to that in a minute because overall, they don’t affect the enjoyment of this film at all.
Continue reading Worthy of the name ‘Alien’ | Review of ‘Alien: Covenant’

A Breathtaking Ending | Review of ‘Vicious’ (Pretty Little Liars #16)


By Cynthia Ayala

Vicious by Sara Shepard
HarperTeen
Image Credit: Goodreads

For years, Hanna, Emily, Aria, and Spencer have been terrorized by “A,” a mysterious figure who has harassed them, revealed all their secrets and even threatened their lives and the lives of their loved ones. But now the mystery is over. They know A is the real Alison who. through a vicious scheme, has placed them in jail. In the final fight for their lives, some will leave broken, some will fight until the very end. One things for certain, this is the end of the Pretty Little Liars.

Published December 2, 2014, by HarperTeen Vicious by Sara Shepard is the final novel in her bestselling Pretty Little Liars series where young adult meets mystery.
Continue reading A Breathtaking Ending | Review of ‘Vicious’ (Pretty Little Liars #16)

Powerful and Mystifying | Review of ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)


By Cynthia Ayala

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Image Credit: Goodreads

Feyre survived Amarantha, she broke her curse over the Fae, but the cost was high. Now she’s a High Fae, but her soul and heart will always be human, and the terrors she was forced to inflict, haunt her daily. And the day of her wedding, Rhysand whisks her away, as part of their bargain. Now Feyre must navigate through the Night Court, discovering the light in the darkness and in Rhysand. With a war on the horizon, enemies and friends must pull together, and Feyre must master her new gifts and be the hero once again—if the darkness doesn’t threaten to kill her first.

Published May 3, 2016, by Bloomsbury USA Children’s A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas is the second in her YA fantasy Court of Thorns and Roses series.
Continue reading Powerful and Mystifying | Review of ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)

A Winning Combo of Thievery and Fantasy | Review of ‘Six of Crows’ (Six of Crows #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Henry Holt and Company
Image Credit: Goodreads

Kaz Brekker, criminal prodigy has just been offered a job, a dangerous heist that would mean wealth beyond his wildest dreams. Should be a piece of cake, all they have to do is break into an impenetrable prison, retrieve a hostage and live long enough to claim the reward. With a crew full of some of the most desperate and dangerous criminals, what could possibly go wrong?

Published September 29, 2015, by Henry Holt and Company, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a young adult fantasy about six thieves challenged by one incredible heist.
Continue reading A Winning Combo of Thievery and Fantasy | Review of ‘Six of Crows’ (Six of Crows #1)

A Generic Fantasy Film | Review of ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’


By Cynthia Ayala

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword starring Charlie Hunnam, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law & Eric Bana Warner Bros. Pictures Image Credit: Goodreads

“Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy – whether he likes it or not.”

—IMDB

Another film about King Arthur. Tales of his majesty and the realm of magic and swordsmanship have been adapted in many ways, from the big screen to the small screen. There hasn’t been an accurate adaptation of the tale since Excalibur and the Merlin miniseries, but pivotal characters weren’t left behind, weren’t forgotten in the telling of the stories. This film seems to have forgotten all about Merlin, Morgan Le Fay and Mordred and the pivotal parts they played in shaping up the Arthurian legend.

Continue reading A Generic Fantasy Film | Review of ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’

Good but Beginning to Drag | Review of ‘Yellow Brick War’ (Dorothy Must Die #3)


By Cynthia Ayala

Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige
HarperCollins
Image Credit: Goodreads

Amy Gumm was swept up in a tornado just like Dorothy Gale. A higher power swept her up to destroy Dorothy and her close friends who let the power and magic of Oz corrupt them. No longer is Oz the vibrant place, now it’s a dark place full of monsters and danger. And Amy too is in danger of becoming one of those monsters. An assassin who has failed, Amy must find the light buried deep inside her to keep herself and her friends safe from Dorothy’s wrath and her own.

Published March 15, 2016, by HarperCollins Yellow Brick War
by Danielle Paige is the third in her young adult series about Amy Gumm and her trials in Oz against the wicked witch Dorothy of Kansas.
Continue reading Good but Beginning to Drag | Review of ‘Yellow Brick War’ (Dorothy Must Die #3)