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Book Review: Citizen Kill by Stephen Clark

Book Review: Citizen Kill by Stephen ClarkRating: 4/5 teacups

Summary

“When a devastating explosion kills the new President’s young son, her administration seeks to finally end the war on terror. CIA black-ops agent Justin Raines is among the recruits in a new program that targets for assassination U.S. citizens suspected of radicalizing Muslims.

Haunted by a botched assignment overseas, Justin is determined to redeem himself through the program. But when he is assigned to kill a mysterious Muslim educator that he believes is innocent, he grows disillusioned. Now he must find a way to prove her innocence and derail the program before they both are assassinated.

This explosive political thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat as Washington stops at nothing to protect the nation from terrorists, while Justin Raines risks everything to protect the nation from Washington.”

-From Amazon.com

Review

I was contacted by Stephen to read his book and at the title, I was hooked. It grabbed my attention immediately. And then I read the summary and I was just so curious as to what the story was about. It was clear that it was going to hit close to home with terrorism and all of these events currently going on in the U.S., but it was definitely worth the read.

Based in reality.
The book is based in reality and has no fantastical aspects. It is completely realistic in how it portrays the government, how it works, and how they operate and the kind of secrets they hold. Of course, it’s not based on fact, but it was interesting to see how this idea was mixed into reality and used the fears that people have in the book.

The topic of conversation was Islamophobia.
The main purpose of the book was the cover the idea of Islamophobia and how just because someone is a Muslim, people seem to assume that they are a terrorist. That was one of the points of the book which I thought was interesting to cover. Of course it is covered in non-fiction books but I haven’t come across it in a fiction book before and it was nice that that kind of issue was addressed.

Action packed.
The story kept you on your toes and kept changes and so you weren’t really sure what to expect next, up until the last pages. It was kind of like real life. You expect something to go one way but it actually ended up going the other, especially with politics and it being an ever-changing ground and you can’t predict what will happen next.

I also really liked the idea that everyone thought that they were the good guy. The bad guy thinks that he is the good guy and the good guy thinks that he is the good guy. Everyone thinks that they are doing what is best for everyone. I liked that that was addressed but it is a true fact of life. Wrong or right, everyone thinks that what they do is to better everyone else, no matter what they are doing.

Overall I really liked the book and will give it 4/5 teacups!

rating four tea cups mlcwo

I would suggest reading it, especially if you like politically fueled reads and ones that keep you turning pages. The chapters were nice and short so you were able to bite through it quickly so it wasn’t a long read.

Happy Reading and let me know what you think!

 

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The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry Summary

“London, 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one, and she never suited the role of society wife. Accompanied by her son Francis – a curious, obsessive boy – she leaves town for Essex, where she hopes fresh air and open space will provide the refuge they need.

When they take lodgings in Colchester, rumours reach them from further up the estuary that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, is immediately enthralled, convinced that what the local people think is a magical beast may be a previously undiscovered species. As she sets out on its trail, she is introduced to William Ransome, Aldwinter’s vicar.

Like Cora, Will is deeply suspicious of the rumours, but he thinks they are founded on moral panic, a flight from real faith. As he tries to calm his parishioners, he and Cora strike up an intense relationship, and although they agree on absolutely nothing, they find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart, eventually changing each other’s lives in ways entirely unexpected.

Told with exquisite grace and intelligence, this novel is most of all a celebration of love, and the many different guises it can take.”

-From book jacket

Review

This book was an absolutely exquisite read – there really is no other way to put it. First of all, a little bit about the author. She is highly well educated with a PhD in creative writing from Royal Halloway, which is a very well respected university. Additionally, she has been the writer in residence at Gladstone’s Library as well as the UNESCO World City of Literature Writer in Residence in Prague (summarized from book jacket). So clearly she knows her stuff in regards to writing and this is clearly evident within the book.

It is written in an older English kind of style as there are Old English contractions between words, as well as English spelling and longer sentences. It is more like a Jane Austen novel than a newer piece of literature, which I absolutely love. This book is nothing like you will find in the ‘new’ section of your bookstores.

It was definitely a challenging read, to get into it, as it was so different from any other book that one may generally read. It took a few chapters to get into the book and understand the flow of how it would be progressing, but once you did, it was a wonderful story. It was vividly written with beautiful descriptions and you were really able to feel the atmosphere of the book and locations mentioned with great ease.

If you are looking for a book that is fast paced, then this is not your book. It is a very slow story but it keeps you interested. I do not mean slow in a negative way, but there are no fights or action scenes as such. It was a calm book and not once did I have any of my emotions go to an extreme where I had adrenaline pumping or tears streaming down my face. It was all so calm and peaceful which I loved.

There was one small sex scene, which shocked the living daylights out of me. It was so soft and nothing really happened but it was obvious what was happening. And for the time period and what was happening in the story, it shocked me overall and was just so scandalous. In other books I wouldn’t have even batted an eyelash however in this one I was internally going “oh my gosh, wait what?!”

Overall this book was fantastic! It won’t be released in the United States until June 6th, so this is definitely hot off the press. It has been released in the UK for a few months however, like all good things, other countries had to wait for it.

So I do recommend adding this to your wishlist and giving it a buy. It’s an amazing read and a wonderful gift for any book lover in your life. I mean, just look at the cover! Who wouldn’t love to receive a book that was beautiful as that?

Happy Reading and let me know what you all think!

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John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) [Review!!!]

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Starring

Keanu Reeves – John Wick
Riccardo Scamarcio – Santino D’Antonio
Ian McShane – Winston
Ruby Rose – Ares
Common – Cassian

John Wick: Chapter 2
From comingsoon.net

Summary

“Legendary hitman John Wick is forced back out of retirement, and this time, he must face off against a shadowy international assassins’ guild and more of the world’s deadliest killers.”

-From Amazon.com

Review

Holy. Cow.

Okay, so Keanu Reeves is probably one of my favorite actors, just because how much he dedicates to his movies (more coming on that), so this has replaced my all time favorite movie, 47 Ronin. Don’t worry, it’s still in my top 5, but this movie, and probably the first John Wick are now my favorite movies.

One of the first things that gets me in the series is the music. It fits so well as to what the scenes are, they remove all forms of music during an intense fight scene so it doesn’t distract you from the pure talent of the actors, and it all a little different the music. Since this movie had bits based in Rome, some of the fight music had an Italian kind of chord structure, one example being the track La Vendetta. It really has an old Italian feel. However, when you go to club scenes, they’re avant-guard kind of club music, which then transitions into the fight scene club music, as seen in the track John Wick Mode (all of which I love to listen to as it’s great music to have as background music, or workout to even.)

Now on to the movie itself. Visually, it was absolutely stunning and outdid the first John Wick in every way possible. There was more action (if that is even possible) and even though it was a 2 hour movie, I wasn’t bored during a single moment of it. There were explosions from start to finish and it kept you guessing as to who was going to turn against who and who was next to die. Also, I really do like how Mr. Wick isn’t invincible. There were times that he was shot, and had the life beaten out of him, and came close to death. However, he always just survived. So he didn’t always get away without injuries which is nice to see. Makes it more realistic. I was quite impressed with the pencil scene, where you were able to see Mr. Wicks skills with a pencil, and see the talent of those choreographing the fight scene. That brings me to my other point.

The choreographing of the entire movie was completely out of this world. One of the reasons I like Keanu Reeves so much is his dedication to his movies. He doesn’t just fake it ’til he makes it. He really learns everything and all of those fight styles. He doesn’t do his own stunts, like falling out of buildings or being hit by cars, but all of those hand-to-hand combat scenes are really him, and that impresses the hell out of me. According to one source, The Seattle Times, he went into 3 months of “John Wick boot camp” which included “intensive training in martial arts, gun work, fight choreography and stunt driving.” His fighting styles are extensive and he becomes the best at them, in all the movies he’s been in, and this one was no exception. He went through months of gun training so all of that action that you see in the movie with him using dozens of types of weapons, un-clipping the mag and reloading it in about 2 or 3 seconds is really him. Now that’s skill and part of the reason I respect him, and his movies, so much. And hats off to the choreographing team. They were incredibly impressive and choreographed some beautiful fight scenes.

And there was a large amount of weapons in this movie for you weapon buff people. It was another thing which really impressed me because the amount of weapons which Keanu Reeves can use is extensive. From his traditional array of Glocks, to dessert (knives), to something with a little more flare (Benelli M4) and beyond, he is able to anything in his reach from non-ballistic to explosive. That shows talent and ability to improvise.

John Wick: Chapter 2
From indiewire.com

 

As for the movie itself, it did have a lot of similarities to the first movie in story, so while it may have been slightly lacking in the story (lacking I’m using loosely as I know some people look for a unique story), it most certainly made it up in action. And stunt driving. So I personally don’t see the lack of new and original story as a big issue. It had it’s own uniqueness and wasn’t too similar to the first movie, especially with some of the events happening through the movie.

As for the violence, it was through the roof. I mean, it was R, so there was a LOT of blood. With the shooting, it wasn’t people just going down. There was realistic splatter which was impressive as well. It all looked realistic. Not like Expendables 2 where it was clear that it was fake blood. This looked 100% genuine and it was quite impressive. Of course, there was language as well however that’s really the least of your concerns.

I’ve seen this movie twice in theatres, once the day after it came out and again a few days later. I generally never do that as most movies, I feel, don’t deserve paying twice to see. However, this movie I wanted to support and really did truly want to see again in a threatre and was willing to pay for.

John Wick: Chapter 2 is, by far, the best action movie out there that has ever been created. If you enjoyed the first movie, then you will definitely love this one more. As for those who haven’t even become part of this series, if you love ass-kicking, good driving (his baby 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 >cries at what happens to it<), and a bad-ass story, then this is for you.

I do recommend seeing this movie in theatres and not waiting…because this contract may just run out.

Today is “a new day to kill”, so you might as well start it off well.

Happy Watching!

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“19 books to help children find hope and strength in stressful times”

The Washington Post came up with a list, from a Librarian, of books which will help children through this really tough time that the United States, and our world is facing.

Yes, they are picture books, but everyone, no matter which side you are on currently, is facing a tough time. So sometimes helping your children understand everything going on in the world and how to find hope and strength is needed. These 19 books really do speak to me as I’ve read quite a few of them. Even as an adult I may want to check some out again.

A friend sent me this link and so I am sharing it with you. Now it is your turn to share it with others.

Peaceful Photo

 

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 

A Court of Mist and Fury

Summary

“Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.”

-From Amazon.com

Review

Okay, so  I caved in and borrowed this book from my library before I finished the other book I am reading, but I just had to. I honestly couldn’t wait. I kept seeing it all over my feed on Instagram and I just had to check it out!

And oh boy I loved it. This one took me a little longer to read as it was a much longer book, but it kept me guessing the entire time. You really weren’t sure what was going to happen and who was going to end up on what side. And that happened until literally the last page.

I had moments of laughing my butt off, wanting to cry and then having to take a breather from the actual book. This is a more mature YA book due to some of the violence and romance within the book (not graphic, but more for mature YA). In my opinion, book two was better than book one! Ugh, I was so depressed when I finished the book. I have to wait until MAY for book 3, A Court of Wings and Ruin. 

But honestly, if you read book one of the series, then you have to read this one as well.  It just keeps the series going. Honestly, you would have figured out if the series interested you in book one, so if you liked it, then you just have to read book 2 as well!

I’m 100% Team Rhysand. How about you?

Thoughts? I’m casually dying while I wait for the 3rd book to come out so I’d love to rant with someone!

Otherwise, happy reading!