Jasper Fforde

2016 Favorites

Movies

Wow, so I did not see many new movies this year. I re-watched a lot of old stuff and caught up on some 2015 stuff. Overall, though, apart from the re-watches of favorites, I didn’t like many movies this year.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens– I liked the new characters a lot, but was disappointed by the story so I’m not sure if I would call it a favorite. It was nice to see a new Star Wars, though.

Deadpool– I didn’t write a blog for this movie, at least I don’t think I did. I went through a period there where sitting in front of a computer screen made me physically ill so there were a few movies and books I missed. Joys of pregnancy. Anyway, I really liked Deadpool and was lucky enough to pick it up Black Friday and re-watch. So I guess that’s a favorite for this year.

The Big Short– Really liked this movie, even though it made me mad. Enough that I read the book, then read more by the author, and then purchased the movie even though it was on Netflix at the time.

Star Wars: Rogue OneThis might be my favorite movie of the year, I need to watch it a few more times to decide exactly how much I loved it though.

Books

Book wise I also did a lot of re-reading but I was lucky enough to read several books I loved that were new to me.

Lois Lane: Double Down– This series has become such a surprise favorite of mine. Once again I gave this book as a Christmas present and I’m excited for the next to come out. I rarely find a YA book that isn’t filled with whinny emotional stupid teens and this really fills that void for me.

Carry On– Rainbow Rowell is now a must buy author for me. I’ve loved every book she’s written even though none of them are in a series or like the books I normally read. Her characters are awesome and this book was just perfect.

Stars of Fortune– I was really surprised by this Nora Roberts book. It was like reading an old favorite of hers but for the first time with no knowledge of what was going to happen.

Fire Touched Magic Binds & One Fell Sweep– It wouldn’t be a list of mine without Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews on it. I’m so happy with the speed that Ilona Andrews is able to write at and wish that Patricia Briggs would pick up the pace. I read One Fell Sweep as it was posted on their blog and don’t have a review written, however I did buy the book and plan on re-reading it so I’ll post a review then.

The Last Dragonslayer– Loved finding this Jasper Ffrode series, wish it didn’t seem to end with a cliffhanger, but the first book is awesome.

TV

I didn’t have much patience with TV the second half of the year. These things happen when your hormones are in overdrive though. There were still a few shows that I really enjoyed.

Agent Carter– It still makes me sad that this was canceled. Peggy Carter is such an awesome character and a wonderful role model for women/girls everywhere.

Fuller House– Sometimes you need a junk food show. Something that is fun and doesn’t make you think at all. First episode of the first season was bad, but they eventually found their feet and the second season was really good.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones– Jessica Jones is not a character to look up to, but I thought the show was great. She’d been through a lot and still kept fighting. Hope things get better for her, but if Daredevil is any indication of what happens with a second Marvel season on Netflix probably not.

Marvel’s Luke Cage– This is my favorite Marvel show on Netflix. It was so good. Loved pretty much everything about it.

The Librarians– I wish there were more shows like this out there. It’s like Eureka and Warehouse 13, it’s fun and light and I know that things are going to work out. I really just love it and I’m so glad that it keeps getting renewed, I dread the day it doesn’t.

Dark Matter– This was such an awesome find for me. I miss SciFi that isn’t about the world ending or after the world has basically ended or just a constant sink hole of depression. Dark Matter isn’t light by any means, but it doesn’t fill me with a sense of dread.

Video Games

Stardew Valley– I spent so many hours playing this it’s kind of crazy. I love Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games and this was a perfect version of both with a little bit of Animal Crossing thrown in. It’s like this game was made for me and I loved it. It just came out on PS4 and XB1 in case anyone doesn’t want to purchase it on Steam. There’s also a freakin adorable guide available.

Advertisements

First Among Sequels (Thursday Next #5) By: Jasper Fforde

first-among-sequels

First Among Sequels (Thursday Next #5) By: Jasper Fforde

Plot:

It’s been fourteen years since Thursday pegged out at the 1988 SuperHoop, and Friday is now a difficult sixteen year old. However, Thursday’s got bigger problems. Sherlock Holmes is killed at the Reichenbach Falls and his series is stopped in its tracks. And before this can be corrected, Miss Marple dies suddenly in a car accident, bringing her series to a close as well. When Thursday receives a death threat clearly intended for her written self, she realizes what’s going on: there is a serial killer on the loose in the Bookworld. And that’s not all–The Goliath Corporation is trying to deregulate book travel. Naturally, Thursday must travel to the outer limits of acceptable narrative possibilities to triumph against increasing odds.

Packed with word play, bizarre and entertaining subplots, and old-fashioned suspense, Thursday’s return is sure to be celebrated by Jasper’s fanatical fans and the critics who have loved him since the beginning.

Review:

I took a break from this series because the last book came to such a perfect and logical conclusion I didn’t really think I needed to read more. However, since I love the series and the characters so much I had to see what Fforde did next and I wasn’t disappointed.

This book takes place fourteen years after the last and Thursday’s life is solid, for the most part. You get to see her in a comfortable relationship with her husband and be a mother who mostly has her stuff together. Then you start to see how that’s not really the case and it’s all done in Fforde’s usual awesome style.

I’m not sure if this book added much to the world or really even the characters, but it was great to be back and I loved every minute of it. The next book doesn’t sound quiet as appealing so I’m not in a rush to read, but I know I’ll get around to it and one day.

5/5

The Eye of Zoltar (The Chronicles of Kazam #3) By: Jasper Fforde

The Eye of Zoltar

The Eye of Zoltar (The Chronicles of Kazam #3) By: Jasper Fforde

Plot:

Orphans Jennifer Strange 16, manager of Kazam mages, and apprentice Tiger Prawns 12, stand in the way of The Mighty Shandar. Shandar must kill last two dragons for King of Snodd in Ununited Kingdoms. Jen needs legendary jewel The Eye of Zoltar, last seen on pirate, and to tutor spoiled Princess Shazzarine. Perilous journey has 50% Fatality Index.

Review:

So I’m pretty pissed off at the ending of this book. Basically a huge cliffhanger, have no idea what’s going to be done with the Eye of Zoltar or what’s happened to most of the side characters and no idea when the next book will be published.

The last Nursery Crimes book came out in 2004, and there’s been a third book listed on Goodreads for a long time now. Fforde’s also got another series that ended on a cliffhanger this big and yet the last I read he was writing a book that wasn’t involved in either universe.

Ugh.

Annoyed.

Angry.

Someone else is going to be locked up in my writer’s dungeon.

Anyway, the story was good, hilarious at parts, moving at others. Lots happened, lots. My favorite quotes are:

“If we didn’t execute bankers and rogue traders found guilty of financial mischief, it might give them a clear signal that it’s actually okay, and then where would we be?”

 

“She did break the law—what do you think they should have done? Given her a bonus for her daring and ingenuity?”

 

Enjoy the series, now I just have to wait god only knows how long before I get the next book.

4/5

 

The Song of the Quarkbeast (The Chronicles of Kazam #2) By: Jasper Fforde

The Song of the Quarkbeast

The Song of the Quarkbeast (Last Dragonslayer #2) By: Jasper Fforde

Plot:

Long ago, magic began to fade, and the underemployed magicians of Kazam Mystical Arts Management have been forced to take any work their sixteen-year-old acting manager, Jennifer Strange, can scare up. But things are about to change. Magical power is finally on the rise, and King Snodd IV, of the Ununited Kingdoms knows that he who controls magic controls everything. Only one person stands between Snodd and his plans for a magic-grab–and that’s Jennifer.

Yet even smart and sensible Jennifer would have trouble against these powers-that-be. The king and his cronies will do anything to succeed–including ordering a just-might-be-rigged contest between Kazam and iMagic, Kazam’s only competitor in the magic business. With underhanded shenanigans afoot, how can Kazam possibly win?

Whatever happens, one this is certain: Jennifer Strange will not relinquish the noble powers of magic without a fight.

Review:

A great installment in a series that I’m already feeling like is an old favorite. I’m comfortable with the characters and I love the quirky world. It’s classic Jasper Fforde.

I did feel like the epilogue at the end was kind of weird. It was like an ending, as though there were no other books, which kind of reminded me of the last Thursday Next book I read. Maybe Fforde wasn’t sure his publisher was going to let him write another book in the series? Not sure. Now a days, if the readers are there if a publisher doesn’t pick up a series, I don’t see why authors don’t just publish themselves.

Anyway, love the series, already have the next book on hold at the library.

5/5

The Last Dragonslayer (Chronicles of Kazam #1) By: Jasper Fforde

The Last Dragonslayer

The Last Dragonslayer (Chronicles of Kazam #1) By: Jasper Fforde

Plot:

In the good old days, magic was indispensable—it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians—but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam—and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as . . . Big Magic.

Review:

Jasper Fforde’s books are so awesome and strange and cool and fanciful and off the wall bizarre and I love them. Well there was one I didn’t love, but all the others I do. I think, there’s a couple yet that I need to read.

Anyway, this is a young adult novel that is not filled with stupid teenage emotions and all that CW stuff that often times pops up in YA books. This is a great Jasper Fforde for kids book. It’s funny and ridiculous and thought provoking. It’s a great start of what could be an awesome series and I can’t wait to read the next one.

5/5