T5W | Books As Video Games

Welcome one, welcome all, to ‘Emma Remembers Top 5 Wednesdays Exists And Decides To Join In’… again. Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Books That Would Make Good Video Games. Given Sam’s penchant for video games, I can understand that this topic comes from a place of deep love for that genre but I’m not really much of a gamer myself… principally because I suck at them. So, my top five comes with the caveat that I don’t really know how viable any of these would be when translating them into the video game genre – I just happen to think they could make pretty damn cool games to play. Let’s see what we have…

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Review | The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

Title: The Song Rising (2017)
Author: Samantha Shannon
Read: 19th – 25th February
Genre: fantasy; dystopian
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The third book in Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season series, The Song Rising sees Paige and her not-so-merry band of clairvoyants venture outside of the Scion-controlled environs of London’s streets and into a much darker and deadlier world. The stakes are raised, the risks are higher, and the outcome is a riveting and heart-breaking addition to this ongoing dystopian/fantasy series.

“War has often been called a game, with good reason.
Both have combatants. Both have sides. Both carry the risk of losing.”

Immediately following on from the shock cliffhanger of the second book in the series, The Song Rising marks the third outing of dreamwalker Paige Mahoney and her voyant friends and foes alike. Having battled against the other cohorts in the scrimmage in The Mime Order, Paige is now crowned Underqueen and rules over the criminal underworld of London. However, though her victory means she can finally spread the truth about Scion and its Rephaim masters, with it comes the unenviable task of uniting the fractured gangs into a community that is able to survive the oppression it faces on a daily basis. To be a clairvoyant is treason and so every member of the Mime Order commits a crime by simply existing.

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March 2017 | Wrap Up

As far as months go, March was pretty much a non-entity. Or, at least, that’s what it feels like now I’m looking back on it… which is ridiculous because two films I was highly anticipated were released, I saw them, and loved both. (Beauty and the Beast and Kong: Skull Island, for what it’s worth) Me and Liz also ventured to the Tavern a couple of times (always a good time) and I even got to experience dinner at the Tavern which is… well… let’s just say the phrase “I think I’ve ate too much” becomes redundant after the tenth time of saying it. It was SO good though. Some personal/professional changes may also be happening in the very near future (I don’t want to say it too soon and jinx it) so that’s made the end of March very interesting, to say the least. I’m sure it will also affect April and my reading habits but we’ll see. For now, let’s look back at how March’s reading went…

In March, I read a total of 5 books – 5 fiction and 0 non-fiction, amounting to 2247 pages in total, and, of these, 3 books were re-reads. 

In terms of format: 4 were hardcover and was paperback.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, books were fantasy – no one is surprised that I’m still on that fantasy kick. Sorry/not sorry, as always.

Onto the books themselves…

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WWW Wednesday #2 | 22nd March 2017

Exactly a month after I did my last WWW Wednesday, I bring you another! (You have to admit: this is a sort of consistency… just not the regularity the meme originally suggests.) Whilst you can always find out what I’m reading via Goodreads (mainly because I update my page number obsessively in case my bookmark falls out of my book, true story) it’s nice to pause, mid-week, and reflect how the week is going and, mostly, what I’m reading at the moment. WWW Wednesday is currently hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words so do head over to her blog if you want to see more readers’ WWW Wednesday posts.

The Three Ws are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

 

thesongrising1. What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Samantha Shannon’s The Song Risingthe third book of seven in her Bone Season series. I’ve been anticipating this for so many months and I’m so glad that Samantha pushed back the release to make sure the story was as wonderful as it possibly could be because, boy, was it worth the wait. Attending YALC last year and getting to meet the author reignited my love for the first two books in this series so once the pre-order link came up, I knew I had to have it as soon as I could get my grubby little hands on it. I’m really enjoying this instalment in the series as the action is now moving away from Scion-controlled London and exploring other parts of the UK (such as Manchester and Edinburgh), which is completely my jam because dystopians that only focus on one city/place always leave me wondering how everyone else out there is faring – this is answering that query!

 

themimeorder

2. What did you recently finish reading?
Since I was planning to pick up The Song Rising, I made sure to re-read The Bone Season and The Mime Order first since it’s been a few months since I read them (ok, re-read them, I’m obsessed, what can I say?). I’m very grateful for that decision because it cemented in my head how much I love the second book, The Mime Order, and I definitely picked up on things in it that I must have just skimmed over when reading it for the first and second times. Third time’s a charm! If it wasn’t obvious… I completely recommend this series.

 

smoke3. What do you think you’ll read next?

If you saw my recent blog post about my TBR Jar project then you will have seen that I picked a book from there to read next, and that was Smoke by Dan Vyleta. I’ve been meaning to read it for months, the concept sounds super intriguing so, despite some not so favourable reviews, I’m going to give it a go asap. Because I’m incapable of just reading one thing at a time I’ll also probably be listening to the audiobook of either J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince or Clariel by Garth Nix. I’m feeling a little bit neglectful of my classics too so I may (and it’s a very big “may”) pick up something extra like Emma by Jane Austen or something Dickens (super specific, I know, but hey I have many to choose from!). I don’t do monogamous reading, as you might have realised.

Ok, that’s all the time we’ve got, folks  I hope you enjoyed this insight into my current reads. Do you have a WWW Wednesday post of your own? Please link it below if so (or answer in the comments), I’d love to hear your responses.
Have you read any of the books I mentioned – how did you like (or not like) them?
Until next time – happy reading!


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Six Degrees of Separation | Fever Pitch

It’s that time, folks, I bring you another Six Degrees of Separation, book-style! If you don’t know what this meme is then see my previous post or the creator’s website for more details. Basically, every month a book is chosen and participants have to get as far away from the book as possible in six steps. Here are my efforts…

This month’s chain begins with a book I’ve not read unfortunately, it’s Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch. What I do know about it is that it was made into a film in the UK, starring Colin Firth and Mark Strong (so obv, I’d know about it)…

Mark Strong also starred in a book-to-film adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy by John le Carré which follows retired deputy chief George Smiley’s efforts to uncover a Soviet mole lurking within MI6. One of MI6’s Soviet sources is code-named Merlin…

Merlin, of course, is a legendary wizard who appears in Arthurian legend and many a derivation of that legend, including Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. But of course Merlin is also woven into the society of…

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, in which characters use “Merlin’s beard!” as a form of exclamation, and which features an honour called the Order of Merlin (the wizarding world’s version of an OBE). The series was published by Bloomsbury, who also publish a book often compared (erroneously, I think) to Harry Potter and that is…

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, a YA dystopian/fantasy which takes place in a Scion-controlled London where clairvoyants are considered dangerous and so form a sort of Victorian-inspired gang system within the criminal underbelly within the city (and also I love it a lot ok?). Not to spoil the entire plot but this book also takes place in Oxford (a beautiful place I also love), as is…

Philip Pullman’s Northern Lightsthe first book in the His Dark Materials, a wonderful fantasy trilogy telling the story of Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry and there’s polar bears and parallel worlds and witches but it also has some really dark undertones regarding religion and theology and by god it’s SO good. The title of the trilogy (and the entire trilogy) is inspired by…

Paradise Lost by John Milton, an epic 17th-century poem which retells the Biblical story of the Fall of Man and the Original Sin etc. I studied this in my Renaissance to Restoration class at university and I never did finish it but the lectures and seminars I had about this text were genuinely some of the most amazing I’ve ever had. The poetic style of this text is extraordinarily cinematic and visual and it’s pretty damn impressive and I completely understand why it holds the place it does in the canon of English literature.


And there we have it, folks, from Fever Pitch to Paradise Lost, which are two things I never thought would be said in the same breath! I highly encourage you to try it out this little game for yourself and share in the comments below or link to your own Six Degrees post.


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Top Ten Tuesday | All About The Villains

toptentuesdayAnother Tuesday, another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to.

This week’s theme is: All About The Villains. That’s right – we all love a good villain, right? There’s something strangely enjoyable (if a little worrisome) about seeing a really charming or entertaining villain enjoying themselves. Even if “enjoying themselves” equals the destruction of something. Like I said – worrisome.

Because I do like villains so much, I thought I’d put together two lists – one of film/TV villains and the other their bookish counterparts.

Warning: The answers below contains spoilers for the books Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and The Bone Season/The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. Also spoilers for the film Frozen… and definitely heed that warning because that reveal actually made me gasp loudly in the cinema. Don’t look if you don’t want to know who the real villains of the piece are!

Without further ado, let’s see these despicable characters…

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T5W | Books You Want To See As TV Shows

top 5 wednesdayWelcome one, welcome all, to ‘Emma Remembers Top 5 Wednesdays Exists And Decides To Join In’… again. Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s theme is Books You Want to See as TV Shows. As a huge fan of TV, it will come as no surprise that it was difficult to narrow down my choices to just five books. But, for the most part, these books are all stories I feel would warrant a long story-telling format than, say, a film could provide.

I had severe case of deja vu whilst composing this list and I realised it’s because I’ve actually done this topic before and a lot of my choices are still the same! I’m nothing if not consistent (read: obsessive) about books I want/need as TV shows. I’ve tried to include a few new things into the list though, just to mix things up.

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Top Ten Tuesday | All-Time Favorite Fantasy Books

toptentuesdayAnother Tuesday, another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to. This week’s theme is a tough one if you’re as indecisive as myself, it is: Top Ten ALL TIME Favourite Books Of X Genre and my chosen genre is Fantasy. Now, I’m sure I’ve missed something obvious here, but something has to be said for any book/series that immediately jumps to mind when faced with this theme.

Without further ado, let’s see this list…

10. The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare

I can’t stand the author or The Mortal Instruments series, the writing isn’t the most masterful thing ever, and I cringe at times, but I adored the world-building, setting, and character development throughout Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and, especially, Clockwork Princess. If you’re into books set in Victorian London but would like a little bit of supernatural creatures too, then these are definitely worth a read. I can forgive occasionally terrible writing when Jem Carstairs exists.

9. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

It’s Neil Gaiman so obviously it comes highly recommended. If that isn’t enough of a reason then let me just say this: it might be a children’s book, technically, but the story of Nobody Owens being raised in a graveyard by its resident ghosts is eccentric, is charming, is chilling, but most of all is beautiful.

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T5W ¦ Books You’d Want to See as TV Shows

For those who don’t know, Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey and it is a weekly meme in which a topic is posted and you compile a list. I do so love me a good list and this week’s topic really caught my eye…

Top Five.. Books You’d Want to See as TV Shows

  1. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
    No questions asked about this one and I’m 98% sure that there was talks of this definitely happening with Netflix. I think it being produced in this way is next to ideal and it definitely deserves more time to really delve into the world than was really afforded by the film. Don’t get me wrong, I like the film on its own merit, and I loved the cinematography, set design, costumes, just the entire feel of it, but with Paramount Television supposedly behind it (as they were behind the film) there is some hope for a vaguely similar  feel. Or that could just be my eager 12-year old self talking.
  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    The atmosphere of this book is so beautiful and evocative and rich that it would make an excellent screen adaptation. For a long time I thought it would make a wonderful film but I have since re-evaluated and I reckon the miniseries format would be perfect for Morgenstern’s mystical and magical novel. I need to see this brought to life in front of my eyes. Please, please.
  3. The Bone Season/The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
    Yes, yes, I know, supposedly the film rights to this have already been sold to Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium Studios which to be honest couldn’t be in safer hands given its source material but I can’t help but feel it’s also something of a shame. Maybe it’s the greedy part of me that would like more than a 2/3 hour affair but I feel like the wealth of world building that Shannon does with Scion London would really lend itself to a TV series as opposed to a film, especially in the second book of the series when we delve into the back-streets and market-places of the underground criminal gangs. In my head I certainly imagined it as something of the sort. Admittedly it would be difficult to keep up the production values on such an extended project but think a HBO Game of Thrones style set-up and that’s a little of where my imagination is satisfied. Also, I think we desperately need to cast Paige as basically Carrie Hope Fletcher because, even though it was quite possibly her recommendation of the book in the first place that swayed this for me, I saw her as Paige throughout. Whoops?
  4. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    This is the one I’m most wavering about whether film or TV medium would be better. I’ve seen so many beautiful, aesthetically pleasing photo sets of fan casts on Tumblr often enough to know that I need this brought to life on some size screen. And to know that Daniel Sharman is my Charles and Imogen Poots my Camilla, if I didn’t have to concern myself with the fact they’re meant to be twins. Again, perhaps a moody miniseries would be the happy medium. I think that would give it enough time to really play with the richly complex characterisation at work here. I’m thinking Sherlock style 90 minute episodes.
  5. City of Masks by Mary Hoffman
    This was a childhood favourite of mine. The Stravaganza series would all make amazing films/TV shows but I am most eager to see at least an attempt made at adapting the first book, City of Masks, because it’s set in an alternate 16th century Venice called Bellezza. This features time travel and political intrigue and body doubles and a quasi-scientific magic system and I can’t help but think this would make an incredible series. With quite a few years to think about this (I read the series when it was only a trilogy) I’ve already cast quite a lot of the principle roles in my own head and with no thought spared to… oh you know the actual ages of the actors in question. Hey, they can do wondrous things with make-up! I think I always pictured Jeremy Irons as Rodolfo, always. For our esteemed Duchess Silvia either Sofia Vergara or Kate Beckinsale. Arianna would ideally be Hayley Atwell but if we must go younger (and therefore more canonical) then either Sarah Hyland or Nina Dobrev. Lucian is the one I struggle with, ideally we want a mix of Andrew Garfield, Tom Sturridge and Harry Lloyd (good luck with that one). Much like with Rodolfo, however, there is one person and one person alone who is my Guido – Eddie Redmayne, you gangly, red-haired dork.

Phew. I have to say that those aren’t actually ranked, they are just five TV show adaptations that I need in my life yesterday, to be honest. I’ve even provided some helping casting tips for any interested studios! Until then, trawling the Internet for fan casts will have to suffice… it’s a difficult life, the life of a booklover and (tbh miniseries) TV lover.