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B. Wild

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Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, 11 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Maria (MP3 Download)
I loved the mellow but loving tone of the music, very easy to listen to, and very catchy. Five stars.

La monvampiro
La monvampiro
Price: £0.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Something different, 11 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: La monvampiro (MP3 Download)
First time I've heard Esperanto electro, but I really think it worked; makes a nice change from the more traditional sounding, folksy tune much European foreign music seems to end up as. Loved it :)

The Host
The Host
by Stephenie Meyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Survivors beware; triggers abound (as do SPOILERS)., 28 Aug. 2012
This review is from: The Host (Paperback)
If I could sum this book up in one sentence, it would be: Truly awful, but still better than Twilight. Feel free to skip to the bottom paragraph for a summary of my opinions of this book, since the review is quite long.

I was initially interested to see how this turned out, not only because The Host is currently Meyer's only foray into writing outside of her (in)famous Twilight series, but also into another genre (science fiction, as opposed to fantasy) and I am big sci fi fan.

I was not amused.

Now, don't get me wrong, this book is genuinely good for the first act. Meyer, for the most part, utilizes comedy and drama in effective and appropriate proportions, and the post apocalyptic setting alone is interesting enough, since there's a preponderance in many alien invasion tales to focus on preventing a coming apocalypse. This all carries well ... for the first 200 pages. After that, the plot comes to a screeching halt, and Meyer puts everything on hold so that she can spend the ENTIRE second act developing the romance portion of the story, as well as developing the main characters' other social ties. This normally wouldn't be a bad thing, but Meyer can't write romance to save her life. This really shows in The Host, the most significant problems with its romances being that they were:

-forced and weak
-almost identical to Edward vs. Jacob from Twilight: one's surly, and a bit of a d-bag, but satisfies her sexually; the other is a sensitive soul, but only elicits a mild sexual response. Superficial attraction vs. emotional connection.
-The auxiliary ("Jacob") romance isn't really a romance at all, but rape, emotional abuse and sexism disguised as love.**

I would discuss the other social ties/relationships in the book, but there's little to say. There are a lot of characters, but very few personalities, and even fewer well developed ones. The other characters (beyond love interests, protagonists, and brother of the protagonists) are practically interchangeable, and only really used to up the angst for the main character, sometimes in rather ugly ways. A prime example of this is when Walter, who'd been shown to have practically zero interactions with the main character (Wanda), suddenly died of cancer. No one cared about Walter really when he was alive, but as soon as he was revealed to be dying Wanda smelt the opportunity for angst and declared him her bestest friend ever, and went on and on about how sad it was he was dying, and how she was there for him, even though we'd seen him perhaps twice before this. Then he finally kicked the bucket and people reverted to their former apathy.

There's also a significant problem with the sci-fi element of the book. You see, sci-fi is fiction with an element of science, naturally. The science elements don't have to be really scientific, they just have to seem science like, as if the element in question could theoretically work. Alien medicine in The Host is far superior to human medicine, and plays a vital role in the book. When asked by one of the characters (who is a doctor) why it's "uh-mazing", the alien protagonist simply responds: "I'm not a Healer. I don't know how they--the medications--work. Only that they do work--they heal, rather than merely treating the symptoms. No trial and error. Of course the human medicines were all discarded." --page 202, chapter 21, The Host, Stephenie Meyer.

I'm a forensic science university student, and that is the single biggest research failure I've ever read. Human medicine can do much, much more than treat the symptoms--we've been able to do that since the mid nineteenth century, when germ theory was formulated. Any antiviral or antibiotic attacks disease directly at its source--the virus, bacteria, fungi or any other pathogen causing it. And trial and error is how human medicine (which saves billions of lives each day) was founded. Trial and error is the foundation of science, and hence science fiction (the genre Meyer is supposed to be writing in here) itself.

On the topic of research failures, a problem of The Host is that it presents an unrealistic version of communism. According to Wanda (the protagonist), "what's the point of money when everyone is perfectly honest?"--page 92, chapter 9, The Host, Stephenie Meyer.

The thing is, that's not how money works. The point of money is so that we don't have to trade in cows and grain, which is significantly more difficult to carry. It's nothing to do with honesty.

**In fact, this is the main problem with the host overall: It promotes rape culture, and in a number of ways. Melanie is constantly being raped by Wanda, in that she is constantly being forced to do things against her own will by the alien parasite in the back of her skull, controlling her. All she can do is sit back and watch.

And then there's Ian O'Shea himself (the Jacob, mentioned earlier). Almost everything Ian says and does in The Host comes off as either him wanting to rape Wanda/Melanie, or him subtly warning her that he's going to. It's honestly very disturbing, and this book should come with trigger warnings for survivors, honest to God. For example, on page 389, Ian starts Kissing Melanie, but Melanie's body is being possessed by Wanda, whilst Melanie is trapped inside her mind, just experiencing everything, like Locked In Syndrome. The problem is, Melanie hates Ian, and would rather smack him than kiss him, yet Wanda goes on with it for a bit before stopping. A non-consenting party was involved in sexual acts; that is officially rape. And Wanda only stops because Melanie's anger is cramping her mood, and Ian doesn't even care that Melanie's in there at all, he just wants WANDA to feel comfortable enough to frisky with him.

This sort of thing happens all the time. On a great number of occasions, Ian tries to control Wanda, and even shows worrying signs of oncoming violence towards her, as well as emotional manipulation. For example, on pages 569-70, Ian overhears Wanda's plan to give Melanie her body back. He first goes into a cold rage, and then /abducts/ her, throws her onto the mattress of his room, glowers and shouts at her. Surprisingly, he doesn't violate Wanda on the spot, but falls to her knees and sobs (crocodile tears, I'm sure). This violence followed by emotional manipulation is a classic abuser pattern, yet it is hailed in this book as ideal love interest behaviour. What the Hell, Meyer?

I would like to go on, but I just don't have the stamina. All in all, The Host is a disgusting tale about rape culture, human bashing, communism, lack of research, and more. It should be read only to serve as an example of how NOT to write a sci-fi romance.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 30, 2012 11:38 AM GMT

Charmed Season 9 Volume 3 (Charmed Graphic Novel)
Charmed Season 9 Volume 3 (Charmed Graphic Novel)
by Paul Ruditis
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never better!, 12 July 2012
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This series just keeps on getting better. Not only are the comics dramatic, action-packed, funny and full of surprises in their own right, but they set straight some of the more aggravating issues of the show in completely epic ways (such as that "Ultimate Power" BS, why Prue couldn't reappear after season 3 and more). The writers seem to really be in tune with what the fans want whilst at the same time being able to go off on their own and create new and exciting adventures for the girls. Seriously, and I say this as a fan since season 1, I don't think Charmed has ever been better. Keep it up, Zenescope!

Pokemon Black and Pokemon White Versions 1 - The Official Pokemon Strategy Guide
Pokemon Black and Pokemon White Versions 1 - The Official Pokemon Strategy Guide
by The Pokemon Company
Edition: Paperback

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shiny, glossy goodness :), 24 Jun. 2011
Definitely one of the better guides out there: the removable type chart is very useful, the lenticular cover is gorgeous, it has extensive information on all areas of the Unova region & its pokemon (rivaling even the fansites like Serebii) and - most importantly - it /sparkles/ :D In fact, my friend loved mine so much I'm getting her one for her birthday too! I highly recommend this product.

X-Men: First Class (DVD + Digital Copy)
X-Men: First Class (DVD + Digital Copy)
Dvd ~ James McAvoy
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.85

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A drastic improvement since Origins: Wolverine, 18 Jun. 2011
Everything was amazing about it and I'm usually pretty critical when it comes to films. I'm not gonna lie, it steps on the toes of some of the previous films a bit where canon is concerned but its so good that it doesn't even matter. The plot was good, the characters were deep and interesting, it was completely action-packed and hilarious for the most part. There's a lot of tear-jerking too, especially when it comes to the many, /many/ love triagles (James McAvoy wasn't kidding when he called it a love-story *coughXavierandMagnetocough*). I was also suprised by the choice of characters from the comics to adapt, not what I expected; it still worked, though (and fabulously so). Probably the best x-men film so far and I highly recommend it, even to non-fans. 5 stars.

Power Rangers - The Movie [DVD]
Power Rangers - The Movie [DVD]
Dvd ~ Richard Steven Horvitz
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £11.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 minutes of pure gold, 18 Jun. 2011
This film is probably one of my all time favourites. I loved this film as a kid and even now I still find it to be enjoyable as ever, special mention goes to:

- The fight scenes, well choreographed and a whirlwind of puns, as per usual ;)
- The characters: most of them have interesting & funny dialogue in various ways and stay true to the characterisation of the main cast form the TV series (though Rocky fades into the background a little bid, which is a little disheartening and one of the reasons I gave the film a 4 instead of a 5). Ivan ooze is a particularly great villain, completely hilarious. An interesting thing to note is that they scrap a couple of the villains (though not Goldar, Rita or Zedd) and replace them with a movie-exclusive character called "Mordant" and strangely enough it works. I like it. Dulcia's (sp?) also a good ally, though we don;t see her for long.
- The cinematography: mostly takes place at night, which is an interesting change; gives the film a dark, badass edge nearer to the end.
- The SFX: pretty damn good, especially to say that it was made 15+ years ago.

I strongly recommend buying this - its entertainment for the whole family, for all generations (despite the "PG" rating, should really be U, that's not a bad thing though).

Pokemon: Arceus & The Jewel of Life [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Pokemon: Arceus & The Jewel of Life [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Price: £12.20

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak at best [SPOILER ALERT!], 18 Jun. 2011
Not a good movie at all in my opinion and I strongly do not recommend it; I found a large variety of problems with it - in fact, I only allowed it even one star for the animation, which I must (begrudgingly) admit is gorgeous. Oh and there was this really cute Chikorita like halfway through. The rest of the film, however, was dreadful. For example:

- The entire cast was a glaringly obvious Thirty Sue Pileup.
- The plot revolved around this girl with her inherited power of friendship - no, really, that's actually her power. Actually, I wouldn't've minded if it was executed better but the way they played it it just sort of kept getting in the way a lot.
- The plot is poor and makes little sense, which is especially obvious when they travel back in time (at which point any semblance of causality simply flies out of the window).
- There weren't really any villains, it all just turned out to be a big misunderstanding & heart was in the right place at the same time, which comes of as a total cop out.
- The Ash & Dawn vs. Some Kids double battle at the start was terrible. No interesting (or realistic) stunts or move combos from the Pokemon at all. Just came off as horribly lazy writing, really
- In fact (speaking of creativity) the film was severely lacking in this department in general. Arceus is a complete Mewtwo rip-off with his backstory and personality (and not a very well executed one either) and the plot is likewise a Shaymin rip. Once again, very lazy writing.
- Arceus voice was complete Narm and the worst bit was that it could've been avoided if they'd just let him unvoiced save for some guttural cries and shrieks, it would've been a lot more imposing (which is what I can only assume the production team were going for).
- It didn't even do a very good job (presumably) of satifying the action fans, there aren't very many fight scenes at all.

Overall, I genuinely feel that this film deserved its one star rating and wouldn't watch again.

Power Rangers: Super Legends (PS2)
Power Rangers: Super Legends (PS2)

4.0 out of 5 stars Average arcade-style beat 'em up is average, 6 Jun. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Yeah, title says it all. The game consists of seven or so levels, each in three parts, all basically identical. Each level starts you off with a set of rangers for that "era" e.g. first level gives you Overdrive Black & Red, second = Lost Galaxy Red and Green etc. but you can unlock extra rangers as well (like Overdrive Blue) and can use rangers you used in previous levels on the current one. The first two parts of every level consists of you progressing fighting the appropriate mooks (e.g. putties in the Mighty Morphin' era) as you side-scroll through the environment and at the end of both parts you fight that era's boss (e.g. Lothor or Ninja Storm). Every third part consists of a Megazord Battle (though that part isn't very interactive).

In between there are story relevant cut-scenes but its really an excuse plot. The real fun in this game is taking your favourite ranger and kicking the sh** out of anything that comes your way. Its not going to be winning any awards any time soon but it /is/ pretty fun, despite the restrictive gameplay. It should also be noted that instead of having a special multi-player feature player two can just plug in their controlling and join you throughout the level at any point, which I think works to its advantage. The environments & art style is also very attractive (gives it a comic book feel) but like I said, the fun is in the fight.

The Archaeology Coursebook: An Introduction to Themes, Sites, Methods and Skills
The Archaeology Coursebook: An Introduction to Themes, Sites, Methods and Skills
by Jim Grant
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Useful, 7 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My course tutor recommended this book for the Archaeology course I'm doing and I've found it really useful. It is, on the whole, very technical whilst still managing to be fairly concise and useful.

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