[Review] The Treachery of Beautiful Things

The Treachery of Beautiful Things_I have owned a copy of The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long for a while, however it has lanquished on my To be read pile since i got it at the Book Launch. When i managed to get a bit of momentum into reading recently, I took this off of my To be read pile and dived right in.

The story opens with the disappearance of our heroines brother. He is kidnapped by the trees, she is the only witness to this crime..

Then years later, after years of wondering where he was, and therapy for what she had seen, she hears a pipe player, who sounds so much like her brother, that she must investigate. So begins a fun adventure in a land of fairytale.

The land the other side of the edge seems like our own, but in truth is a place filled with magic, where you cannot trust anyone to be what you see. It is a place where the politics of who you follow and who you can trust are not at all obvious.

The story is steeped in English fairytale legends, however I don’t think you need to be familiar with the source material. The characters are all introduced, and no real reference is made to their legend, except that which is explained in the story. While knowledge of Oberon, Titania, or Puck might add depth to the story it is not necessary in order to enjoy it.

I really suggest you go out and read this book. It is unlikely to disappoint you.

Though you may never look at the trees around you the same ever again!

 

[Review] Wreck-It-Ralph

So I went to see Wreck-It-Ralph at the weekend. I had heard about this movie back when it was released in the US, but had to wait for an Irish release before I could see it.

It was well worth the wait.

The basic concept of the Movie is very similar to Toy Story, and many other movies with a similar concept, what exactly do computer game characters do when there is no one around to watch them.

The plot is quite simple, about a person seen as been evil by all around him, trying to prove that he can be a good guy.

The simple plot description of course does not even come close to describing the joy that exists in this movie. Sure there the shout out moments when famous game characters make an appearance (Sonic, Street fighter 2 and so on) but these references are more for the adults in the audience than the kids, and so the movie depends more on the original characters that we encounter than any others.

The main character is Wreck-it-Ralph, who was thrown out of his home so an apartment block could be built, and so tries  to destroy that block. After 30 years of the same thing, he gets bored with living in the dump, and wants to prove that he is good enough to live in the apartment building with everyone else.

I don’t want to go to much into this movie, as while i believe you can enjoy it knowing things, there are certain moments of Joy that just had me laughing.

In general i think the best parts of the movie are:

  •  The world building in this was really well done, the world and its history are sometimes built with a deft touch and others just pushed in your face. Both ways work, and make sense for the different elements that are introduced in this way.
  • The characters are well realised and defined. oh and are great fun.
  • The self-awareness of the characters, they know they are in games, and they know what could happen if they stop playing for the people.
  • The “in” jokes. They are there adding an extra layer, but if you miss the joke that’s ok as it is never important to the plot

This film is probably going to remain one of my favourite films for a long time, I have already bought the soundtrack, and have gotten the iOS game for it as well, which is quite addictive.

In the end the message of the film is all about accepting who you are, and finding happiness in the differences between you and other people. Which is, I think, a good message in any movie.

This movie will be on my Hugo nomination Form for best dramatic performance, Long Form.