“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
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?
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.
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.