Ilchester

My first attempt at writing a piece of psychogeography. 

Stepped on by legions and the feet of heron, set in South West England. Illchester, a sleeping village of narrow paths. Lindinis, a place of Romans and forts, to a capital for the Durotriges celts. But today, silent. A mallard flies overhead, crossing to the other side of the Yeo. A splash as it lands, startling the scrawny moorhen slumbering peacefully. The sky is overcast as I step out across the old brick pavement. My feet follow the narrow path as a single car drives past, moving towards the inner village. I pause to look down at the river, a river of rich history and celebrated with eel festivals once a year. The silence is disturbed, a wildcat thunders above. It’s destination; the Yeovilton Royal Navy air station, just beyond the cheese factory, schools and farms. I carry on and come to a crossroads. Right leads to the high-street, a town hall lies ahead. Yet I go left, towards the Roman museum and the town sign. Five miles further and I’d reach the nearest town. But for now, isolated. A woman walks the path opposite. Hurrying home down one of the narrow side streets. As I carry on down my path, I am overwhelmed with it all. The history and memories contained in a place so small. A twenty-minute walk from one end to the other, from the infamous Norseland to the tip of the village. A whole world contained in a couple of miles, my childhood, my memories, the place that I still love.

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Remembrance Sunday

Remember Them

Friends, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers,

We Will Remember Them.

Fathers, Spouses, Daughters, Sons,

We Will Remember Them.

Brave, Strong, Loyal, Loved,

We Will Remember Them.

Family, War, Death, Pain,

We Will Remember Them.

Wars Past, Wars Present,

We Will Remember Them,

Those Hurt, Those Safe,

We Will Remember them,

The Past, The Present,

The Crimson Fields,

We Will Remember Them,

Broken, Proud, Shattered, Saved,

We Will Remember Them

Heroes that fought everyday,

We Will Remember Them,

Heroes out fighting today,

We Will Remember Them,

All lost, all buried,

We Will Remember Them,

Forever loved, never forgotten,

We Will Remember Them.

Least we forget,

We Will Remember Them.

All That The War Has Touched

All that,

war has touched,

We will Remember that,

Never to forget,

Neve to be lost,

Soldiers brave, loved, tough,

Fighting on, fighting past,

eternal, everlasting, names last

Stand tall, shout loud,

least we forget,

our brave soldiers,

Least we forget,

Sacrifice, soldiers,

For us they fight,

Loved, Lost,

Strong, Trust,

Legions and Poppys,

brave veterans,

Preying, Loving, Remembering,

Lest we forget.

Thor: Ragnarok Review

The Thor film we’ve all be waiting for!

WARNING: ⚠️ THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN LOTS OF SPOILERS
Wow! What a movie! This is the Thor film we’ve been waiting for, and honestly one of the best marvel movies this year.

The first fantastic element of this film is the fact that Jane has been written out, AT LAST! She has been a dead weight for a little while now and Ragnarok did all the better without her presence.

I also really enjoyed the fact that its centered more around Norse Mytholgy and Asgard than it is Earth, which made for a new and refreshing movie. The first Thor film was exciting, we saw how a God reacted to being exiled to our planet, but the same plot run through every other film thor was in, so this made a great change. Earth wasn’t mentioned once! 

The film had a great pace with every plotline and event knitting together perfectly. The addition of Hulk and the cameo from Doctor Strange complimented the movie perfectly, and I happened to find that the lack of a romantic sub plot made the film ten times better. 

As a self confessed Loki fan, I loved his stance and role in this movie, we were able to see a different side to him. 

The star of the show had to be the grandmaster thought, completly taking the spotlight away from Hela. He added a guardians kind of humour to the film that I absolutely loved. 

The after credits scene set the premise for Infinity War, leaving that tingle of excitement in everyone’s minds to satisfy us until the next Marvel movie is released (Black Panther in Feb 2018, which seems so far away 😭)

Until then we can just keep ourselves busy with re-runs of the Marvel films trying to spot all those sneaky easter eggs that point towards Infinity War.

I give this film ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Electric Dreams (E1) Review

The Hood Maker

9pm, Channel 4. Directed By Julian Jarrold. Written By Matthew Graham based on the short story by Phillip K. Dick. First Aired 17/09/2017.

IMDB Summary: In a world without advanced technology, mutant telepaths have become humanity’s only mechanism for long distance communication. But their powers have unintended implications. When the public begin to embrace mysterious, telepath-blocking hoods, two detectives with an entangled past are brought in to investigate.

Review

(Warning If you have not seen the episode, there are a few minor spoilers in this review)
I have been excited about this series since I found out about it just under a month ago, and it has finally hit our screens with a bang! I enjoy anything to do with science fiction, but I was especially excited about this, party to see how an anthology of short stories would translate on-screen (really well apparently!), and secondly to see one of the most influential science fiction writers of our time have his works brought to life on the small screen! (Although, as some of you may know, his works are no stranger to the screen in general, with films like Blade Runner and Total Recall originating from his writing). This show landed on TV spectacularly with the opening credits summing up all the creepy wonder we can expect to see over the next ten weeks. Phillip K. Dick is a master at writing the weird and wonderful, the creepy and the downright disturbing, as you can see by the show’s trippy cover image shown at the top of this post, and The Hood Maker was no stranger to this.

First off, I really enjoyed the social politics behind this episode, the idea of the telepaths and the morality that comes with that.  The idea that your mind and closest secrets can be read so easily by whoever wants information from you, really intrigued me and I enjoyed thinking about what consequences that could bring. This episode is a comment on our world today, a world of sharing your life with the public through online media. I have been a fan of how Phillip K. Dick uses science fiction to comment on social issues, and this show really managed to capture that. His stories are always so thought-provoking, and they make you consider views and ideas that you may never have thought about before now, and The Hood Maker isn’t any different.

The casting of the episode was great! Each actor/actress seemed to fit into their role perfectly, and it’s great to see that they have got so many big names getting involved, such as Richard Madden in this episode (Game of Throne’s Robb Stark) and Benedict Wong in next week’s episode (Doctor Strange’s Wong).

The imagery was stunning! The landscape so beautifully cyberpunk! The heavy rain, the grey buildings, its like all of the colour has been sucked out of the world. The brightest thing on-screen was Honor’s scars, and that really says something about where this show was going. The aesthetics of this story really reminded me of Blade Runner (which is also based on a Phillip K. Dick story; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep), and it had that eery quality that gave a creepy layer to the element of mystery in the show.

The most striking thing that I found interesting was how it seemed to really relate to the Phillip K. Dick short story I have read; Ubik, where telepaths (precogs) and blockers (inertials) are an established force in the world. I’m not sure if there is a reason for this or not, or if it is a prequel to the idea, but if any of you know anything about that, please let me know in the comments below as I’d love to find out.
I enjoyed this show and it’s idea that there is a world without any kind of technology, where humans have evolved to be telepathic to create their own modes of communication… until the end. I hate open endings, I really want to know what happened now… they can’t leave it there… but they did… now I feel all empty inside. But I did like the message behind the ending, the way that none of us can ever tell what their partner is feeling (even if minds can be read). That the complications of the human heart are too heard to understand even for a telepath.
How would you have liked to see the episode end? Let me know in the comments below.
I found it great that they included a romance into what was essentially a sci-fi cyberpunk, but I would have liked a happy ending (even if If I should know better, we don’t really get them with Phillip K. Dick).

Finally I need to comment on that scene of the telepath uprising against the hood maker. It was creepy and visually stunning at the same time. The way they pulled apart the wires to get to him, to make him pay for all he has done. And if we are talking about striking scenes, I loved the scene in the telepath’s bedroom, where they all shared the nightmare that one of their peers was suffering through.We could see how connected they all were to each other, like a family all fighting a single cause and trying to find their place in the world.

Altogether this was a strong start to the series! So I give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️.
I have taken one star for the ending, and one just basically because the subject matter of The Hood Maker wasn’t a favourite of mine, but that is just a matter of personal taste. That’s the great thing about this series, with each week being a completely different story, there is bound to be something to cater for everyone in the end, and next week’s episode seems more like something I would love, as I have a passion for anything set in space.

Tune into Channel 4 at 9pm next week for the next instalment of Phillip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams; Impossible Planet. See the trailer below.

Above The Salt Review

Above the Salt (Salted Series Book #3)
By Aaron Galvin

36105725https://i2.wp.com/www.aarongalvin.com/uploads/2/4/6/8/24683312/4585466_orig.jpg

About the Author: ​​Aaron Galvin is a rascal who turned his mischievous talents into writing and acting in stories that people sometimes pay for. He is a conflicted Slytherin/Gryffindor, has met Batman and worked for the Joker, and continues to believe he could have played an amazing Jon Snow if only he had been born English. Aaron is a native Hoosier and a graduate of Ball State University. He currently lives in Southern California with his family.
**Most of the above is true.

Website/Blog: www.aarongalvin.com

 

About The Book

Publisher: Aames & Abernathy
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 343
Where I acquired the book: The ARC was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Buy it on Amazon HERE
Or from Aaron Galvin’s website HERE (Where you can order signed copies too!)
Price: £3.88 (Kindle), £10.08 (Paperback) Based on Amazon’s listing from the day this post is published.

The Cover of the copy I read:
36105725

Goodreads description:
Sydney Gao has a secret – she’s a mermaid.
Unfortunately, her mother forbade her from telling anyone and kept Sydney land-locked in the Midwest all her life. After learning Selkie slavers kidnapped her best friend Garrett Weaver, Sydney ran away in hopes of rescuing him. Succeeding, she thought all her dreams of finding others like her to swim with had finally come true.
But Garrett is different now.
No longer the goofy, fun-loving guy she remembered, he’s more concerned about his Selkie friends than Sydney. Worse, her mother is also mad at Sydney for putting herself in danger and not thinking about the consequences of her actions.
Sydney can’t understand any of it. All she’s ever wanted is to finally see and explore the Salt capital city of New Pearlaya and to share her secret with someone. What Sydney doesn’t know is that the Salt is far from the place where dreams come true…and she isn’t the only one who’s been keeping secrets.

Links to my reviews of the previous books in the series:
(Book One) Salted♥     (Book Two) Taken With A Grain of Salt
Find the other books on Amazon Here:
Salted (Kindle £0.99, Amazon Bestseller), Taken With A Grain of Salt (Kindle £2.31).

The Review

Another fantastic read from Aaron Galvin! Above the salt was a perfect continuation of the Salted series and I really enjoyed reading it, so much so that I stayed up late every night just so I could stop at a chapter before going to sleep. I really like the slow progression in this book, how the story builds up at a steady pace so we get to see more of the Salt now the story has been fully established in the other two books. I especially like how Galvin used point of view chapters to follow the different characters and their own stories, so we got to read more than one tale within the same book. I enjoyed reading Kellen’s chapters more than I expected considering they contained a lot of the less likeable characters in the book and I found Sydney’s chapters fascinating. We got to see the other side of the salt for the first time, getting a look into the upper class society instead of reading from the point of view of those who have nothing. The way Galvin put these upper class chapters alongside the chapters facing dark themes such as slavery and violence created a striking contrast that gave us a fully rounded picture of the Salt, so we could witness what the society is like from all sides of the caste system. We can see the Salt in this novel from the point of view of everyone, from the rich, the poor, the slaves, the guards and the warriors, which is really incredible. Personally I cannot wait to read more of Weaver’s chapters (minor spoiler warning for those who havn’t read the previosu books) now that his chapters are set in an Orc training camp, as they remind me of classic science fiction novels like Forever War (Joe Haldeman) and Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card).
Above the salt really reminded me of an underwater version of Game of Thrones, in the way that it tackled the darkest parts of our own human history by putting them in a fantasy setting. We had army training, royalty, scandal, mystery and fighting pits all placed within one book creating a world that would terrify even the strongest of souls. Galvin also once again continues with his point of view chapters from the Selkie Slaves, writing their stories in a way that is both respectful and heart breaking, giving us an insight into the darker side of society that many other fantasy writers do not let us see in their own worlds, with the exception of great authors such as George R. R. Martin.  That is one of the reasons I really enjoy the Salted series so much, it makes you feel uncomfortable when reading it, but in a good way as the characters seem more real, and more dynamic through reading about their hardship.
However, I have to take one star away from my rating on this book unfortunately, due to how it ends. The book seemed to be cut of a little too short. It was like there was a lot of build up and then no climatic conclusion in the last few chapters to satisfy the reader (other than that one AWESOME twist that I will not mention here, so I don’t spoil it for those who havn’t read it). There wasn’t really a resolution to any of the individual stroylines (with the exception of one), and although that makes for an exciting sequel that I can’t wait to read, it still could have done with a chapter or two to summarise a few of the stories instead of leaving so many of them open and feeling unfinished. This is a minor issue in the scheme of things though, as I know my questions will be answered soon enough with the sequel to this book that I can’t wait to read.
I am so excited to see what happens next and I have to thank Aaron Galvin so much for the opportunity to read the ARC of Above the Salt, as it was fantastic! It had just the right balance of mystery, intrigue and breathtaking drama and he never shies away from the darkness of the salt for one moment, bearing all for the reader to see and not holding back on showing us the more horrendous situations the characters are thrown into. I would really recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of urban fantasy, and remember, merpeople are not just for children.

I Would Give This Book: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

3 Similar Books You May Enjoy (According to Goodreads)
Salem’s Vengeance      The Grave of Lainey Grace      Salted

Salem's Vengeance (Vengeance Trilogy, #1)The Grave of Lainey GraceSalted (Salted series, #1)

The Little Heart

Hi All,

You may start to see, or have already noticed that my blog’s pages are become littered with little red hearts -> 

There is a reason for this. All posts listed with the ♥ next to them are all posts that link back to my old blog The Reading Rose, so the content I have written in the past is not lost forever.

So if you need something to do to fill your spare time over the next few days, why not take a look at the little heart  posts to check out some of my older content, and let me know what you think!

Until next time

-R

The Fault In Our Stars (Review)


After the hype for this book, I was very late in reading it. But I can honestly say that waiting until now didn’t dampen the book’s impact at all. I don’t think I will ever be the same again after reading this, it was so out of my comfort zone, so different from everything else I have read, and a little too close to home after dealing with cancer in my family recently. Usually I spend my time reading science fiction, fantasy and chick-lit. Harmless books that are so far from reality they don’t really hit me personally. But this book did. It was raw, it was devastating and John Green did not shy away from pain for a single moment. It was beautiful, it broke my heart, and it made me see life in a different way, if only just for a few moments. People say YA is shallow, it has no meaning and it can’t teach you anything that you don’t already know. To those people I give them this book. This work of art, this literary genius, this book that stopped the world moving for me until I reached the final page. There were times when I wanted to give up, that I didn’t think I could keep reading. It was too painful and the emotions too raw. But I carried on, the pain of the characters more real to me than in any book I have read before. So many people are fighting cancer right now in the world, some sharing the stories experienced by Hazel and Augustus. It’s something that was all touch eventually, whether directly or through others. This novel manages to capture that experience perfectly and without barriers. Green doesn’t shy away from the truth of the disease, he doesn’t try to hide anything. This book is a masterpiece, that I am never going to forget. John Green is talented and incredible, his work so intelligent and insightful. I won’t lie to you, TFIOS is painful to read, but it is enlightening and beautiful. It’s worth every single minute that you will spend crying over the inked pages. It is worth everything. Okay?

I give this book 5 Stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

(P.S I don’t own the rights to the above image. I am just borrowing it because the art and the quotes are beautiful)