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TV Corner: No Tomorrow

Pilot

The CW’s No Tomorrow didn’t really draw me in at first.  I wasn’t drawn by the fact that it starred two generic white people, and I wasn’t sold on the premise either.  However, I love Joshua Sasse (Generic White Person #1) and I’ll pretty much watch anything The CW puts out, so once this was on Netflix I was all over it, not expecting to like it very much.  Instead, I absolutely loved it, which sucks for me, since it was cancelled after one season.

No Tomorrow stars Joshua Sasse as Xavier Holliday, an eccentric physicist who believes that the world will end in eight months when an asteroid collides with the Earth and destroys it (in other words, an apocalypse truther).  When he meets Evie Covington, a woman who has always played it safe, he convinces her to broaden her horizons and take more risks.

Strike one against this show was casting a generic white actress as Evie, when this could have been so much more interesting with a woman of color in the role.  Strike two is tangential to strike one, which is that this show involves one of my least favorite tropes: fun-loving and reckless man draws shy and responsible woman out of her shell.  I hate it, but it would have been given layers of depth if Evie were a woman of color who then had to play it safe by virtue of her background.  But, you know, this is The CW, so I don’t expect too much.

Anyway, I went in with low expectations, but I was totally charmed! This is a charming show.  It’s cute and utterly hilarious, never forgetting how completely ridiculous its own premise is.  Joshua Sasse, coming off his stint in Galavant, is brilliant as fun-loving Xavier, bringing depth and complexity to what could have been an incredibly grating role.  Tori Anderson is adorable as Evie, if a little boring.  The two are surrounded by a much more diverse cast of wacky characters that by the end of the series have become a tight-knit group of friends.

The show is essentially a classic rom-com with an apocalypse twist thrown in for kicks.  But somehow, it works, leading to absurd hijinks and a whole lot of fun.  By the end of the show, all the characters have changed and matured for the better.  The CW even released a short little epilogue letting you know where all the characters ended up and whether or not the asteroid did indeed hit the earth.   The closure wraps up the show quite nicely!

At only thirteen episodes, No Tomorrow is a highly bingable weekend treat that is sure to cheer you up!

 

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Fancast: A Darker Shade of Magic

Back in the heyday of Livejournal, I looooooved fancasts.  I’d hunt them down like a bloodhound, and I tended to create many myself!  Because I’m slowly becoming obsessed with V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic series (who isn’t?), I of course started picturing who I would want cast in the roles.  And since the series is also being turned into a TV show, hopefully soon, this is all the more timely!

FYI, I’m 80% into A Conjuring of Light but not done yet, so please, no spoilers!

So here we go:

KELL (FREDDIE FOX)

KELL
Finding someone for Kell was hard, and not just because I’d rather have Alfie Enoch in the role.  His looks are very particular, and he needs to give off that aura of seriousness.  I think Freddie could be great assuming the makeup team puts in a lot of work.  I also considered Caleb Landry Jones who also has appropriate looks, but I’ve actually never seen either of these two act.  In this particular picture, though, Freddie looks perfect.

 


LILA (MEDALION RAHIMI)

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Lila was the easiest person to cast! I first saw Medalion on the prematurely cancelled (seriously, don’t get me started on this) Shondaland drama Still Star Crossed.  She plays a princess, a role entirely different from thief and cutthroat Delilah Bard, but seeing her act, I think she can bring ferocity to the role.  She’s also very striking, and she’s a woman of color! Others I considered were Nina Dobrev (light of my life) and Anya Taylor-Joy.


RHY (ELLIOT KNIGHT)

RHY
Elliot is so handsome and he can play charming rogue and serious prince very well.  I’ve seen him on Sinbad and Once Upon a Time, two completely opposite roles, but he’s been brilliant in both.

 

 

 


ALUCARD (DENIZ AKDENIZ)

ALUCARD

 

I mean.  Look at him.  Need I say more? He looks the part and he oozes charm.  He played Aladdin on Once Upon a Time and had a small guest role on Jane the Virgin.  Not only were both roles superbly acted, but he also managed to be incredibly seductive in both, which is exactly what this role needs.

 

 


HOLLAND (TOM BURKE)

HOLLAND
As far as I know, the popular fancast for Holland is Mads Mikkelsen, which I would support wholeheartedly, only Mads is much older than how I picture Holland.  Tom is thirty-six, which is exactly the age I picture Holland.  After watching him play Athos on BBC’s The Musketeers, I know for certain he will be able to convey Holland’s calm, dry wit and emotional trauma.

 


So what do y’all think? Did I choose right? Did I choose totally and utterly wrong? Who did you have in mind for these characters? What other characters in the books do you have castings in mind for? Tell me in the comments!

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The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

Chelsea over at Spotlight on Stories did this tag, and I really liked it so I thought I’d snag it!

1. The Best Book You’ve Read So Far In 2017

31123249Saints and Misfits, also known as literally the first YA book I’ve ever read that positively portrays the Muslim community. Not only that, it’s clever, engaging, witty, and incredibly well-written.  I couldn’t put it down, even though I had to read it as a PDF on my phone (thanks, Netgalley), squinting and awkwardly maneuvering the pages.

 

2. Your Favourite Sequel This Year

20764879A Gathering of Shadows.  I read A Darker Shade of Magic in March and while I liked it, I wasn’t awed by it.  Then I read A Gathering of Shadows, and I finally understood why everyone loves these books so much! While second books in a trilogy are usually slower and transitional, A Gathering of Shadows is shaping up to be the best book in the series. It’s got great pacing and buildup and incredible payoff.

3. A New Release That You Haven’t Read But Really Want To

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I’ve heard nothing but good things about both of these books!

 

4. Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year

32718027  33395234  33958230City of Brass is written by a history buff and is set in 18th century Cairo! I mean! What more could I ask for! I’ve read a short story by the author of Beasts of Night, Tochi Onyebuchi, called “Screamers” and it was haunting and incredible.  And of course, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns has been getting so much buzz! Plus it features an anti-heroine, so I’m already sold.

5. Your Biggest Disappointment

30363359The Thief  was such a major disappointment. I had heard so many good things about this book and this series in general that I was really excited to read it, but by the quarter mark I was already struggling. It took everything I had to finish it and by the end I was skimming whole paragraphs just to get it over with. It was boring and uneventful and the only two female characters show up for a few pages at the end of the book.

6. Biggest Surprise Of The Year

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I mean, I knew I would like The Beautiful Ones, but I didn’t expect it to be a romance novel (Reading Comprehension: 1, Hadeer: 0) and I also didn’t expect to love it so much as to be inspired by it to write a whole series! It’s always a special book that inspires me like that.

 

7. Favourite New To You Or Debut Author

30269126  25036395Rhoda Belleza really hit the ground running with her debut novel Empress of a Thousand Skies, an expertly plotted sci-fi novel with a fantastic understanding of the politics of race.  And every chapter ends with a cliffhanger! How! Sarah Beth Durst has been writing for much longer, but she is new to me, and The Queen of Blood was an excellent, vivid fantasy.

8. Your New Fictional Crush

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Can I just say Sam Winchester and call it a day? No? I guess I’ll go with Alucard Emery. This smooth, charming bastard captured my heart from the very first moment he appeared on the page.

 

9. New Favourite Character

20764879Delilah Bard, hands fucking down.  I mean, I have honestly never seen a female character written like this before, with all the traits that are usually assigned to men.  Lila is powerful and unafraid, and more than that, she embraces her power fully.  She’s not afraid of it or wanting to damper it; she wants it to let loose and destroy and she is amazing.

 

10. A Book That Made You Cry

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Hmm, I don’t think I read any books that were  enough to make me cry.  Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom did make feel ALL the emotions, though, so there you go.

 

11. A Book That Made You Happy

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Easy! When Dimple Met Rishi! Dubbed a rom-com, that book was truly cheerful and romantic, playful and sweet! It’s a quick, happy little read.

 

 

12. Your Favourite Book To Movie Adaptation That You’ve Seen This Year

The_Handmaiden_filmI’ve only watched like four or five movies this year and none of them were adaptations, I don’t think. Can I say The Handmaiden? It’s based on Fingersmith by Sarah Waters but from what I’ve heard moving the setting to Korea worked wonders for it. I’ve never read the book but the movie captured my soul.

 

13. Favourite Book Post That You’ve Published This Year

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Probably my Saints and Misfits review, which was retweeted by S.K.Ali herself!

 

14. The Most Beautiful Book You Bought Or Received This Year

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The Girl From Everywhere is such a beautifully designed book! That color contrast is incredible.  Alas, I haven’t read this yet!

 

 

15. What Are Some Books That You Need To Read By The End Of The Year

34606064  34017058  29760778  28526192  7767021

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Short Story Friday

In my attempt to become a writer, I’ve taken to writing short stories.  One of them was recently published.  In an effort to improve my craft, I try to read as many short stories as I can.  I’m…rather picky when it comes to short stories, much pickier than when it comes to novels (which is rather contrary, but what can I say), so it’s not often that I find a short story that truly speaks to me.  I’ve realized that I would like to keep track of those stories that touch me or teach me something, and so that birthed a new idea: Short Story Friday.

On certain Fridays, I will share with you three short stories I have read that engaged me in some way.  This will also be a great way for me to encourage myself to read more short stories! I definitely don’t read enough.  And so, without further ado, I present my choices for this Friday:

ladys-maid-v2A Lady’s Maid by Sarah Gailey (B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, May 2017): Described as a “Victorian comedy of manners” featuring androids, this darkly comedic story juxtaposes Victorian social customs with futuristic technology.  It’s an intriguing mix that leads to some rather amusing shenanigans culminating in the ultimate tragicomedy.  Featuring the perspectives of several intriguing characters, it concludes with a satisfying and unexpected new beginning.


cw_77_350The Wanderers by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Clarkesworld, February 2013): This story throws you right into the action with an incredibly disturbing first paragraph from the perspective of sadistic aliens hoping to colonize Earth.  They’ve spent years studying humans and believe we worship violence, so they believe they will be appreciated as our violent overlords.  However, when they actually arrive on Earth, they discover something unexpected.  Though the story never makes very clear what has actually happened on Earth, its subtle clues are chilling.


51Es-RHxKqLThe Narrow Escape of Zipper-Girl by Adam-Troy Castro (Nightmare, June 2017): In this story, a very disturbed narrator becomes fascinated with a girl who had a body-mod zipper on her neck.  He chronicles his relationship with this woman he calls only “Zipper-Girl,” describing his increasing obsession with her zipper and its horrific potential.  We are in his head for the entire story, and he is one fucked up dude, which makes for one hell of a  creepy read.

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The Liebster Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by my friend Rachel @ pace amore libri! Thanks Rachel!

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1. Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog

2. Answer the 11 questions the person asked you –

(i) What’s your dream vacation?

A trip across all of Europe, visiting small towns and villages and historic sites.

(ii) How do you take your coffee (or tea)?

I prefer coffee, and I take it with half-and-half and sugar.  I also really love Thai iced tea, if that’s relevant.

(iii) What’s your favorite kind of blog post to make (e.g. book reviews, monthly wrap ups, Top 5 Wednesday/Top 10 Tuesday, etc)?

I actually don’t do monthly wrap-ups (should I?).  Hmm, I think I like book reviews best! There’s satisfaction in finishing a book and typing out that review.

(iv) Have you met any of your internet friends in real life?

Yes! Besides Rachel I’ve met a couple of others, but they aren’t on this platform.

(v) If you had to blog about something other than books, what would it be?

Well, I originally started this blog as a television blog, so I would probably blog about that!

(vi) What’s the best movie you’ve watched so far this year?

I don’t watch too many movies, but most of the ones I’ve watched this year have been absolutely incredible.


The Handmaiden:
Lesbian heist movie of my heart! When a Korean thief is hired by a conman to con a lady out of her riches, she doesn’t expect that she’ll end up falling in love with her.  There’s no burying your gays here; in fact, the women in this film triumph in a fantastic twist ending.

The Prince of Egypt: I’m Egyptian and yet had never seen this film, until Rachel saw fit to remedy that.  This movie is so beautiful and moving, and gorgeously illustrated, with incredible music too.

The Witch: This film is HELLA CREEPY Y’ALL.  I love it.  It’s about a Puritan family living on the edge of the New England wilderness and essentially falling prey to the devil and his witches.  It’s got gorgeous cinematography and a fabulous performance by Anya Taylor-Joy.

(vii) Where’s the coolest place you’ve ever been?

Ireland! Specifically, the Rock of Cashel.  There was just something about that old, crumbling castle and that small town that was so alluring.

(viii) Do you name your car(s) and other inanimate objects?

I do! I don’t really refer to them by those names but I just like to give them names anyway.

(ix) Which blog that you follow do you think is the most similar to yours?  In terms of, ‘if you like my blog, you should also follow ____.’

Hmm, hard to say! From what I’ve seen it seems most book bloggers review YA and fantasy.

(x) Favorite season?

Autumn is the season of my heart, y’all.  I love autumn so much.

(xi) Are there any genres that you refuse to read?

Not as a rule.  There are of course certain genres that I don’t automatically gravitate towards, but if a book seems interesting or comes highly recommended I’ll probably check it out no matter what genre it is.

3. Nominate 11 people (comment on their blog to let them know)

Is there anyone who hasn’t done this yet? I’m lazy and terrible at tagging folks, so if you haven’t done this yet, please, please, please, consider yourself tagged.

4. Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions

I like Rachel’s questions.  Go for those!

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Top 5 Wednesday: Books Without Romance

I thought this topic would be difficult,  but it was actually rather easy! I ended up finding about eleven books I adore that don’t feature romance at all.  Narrowing them down to five was actually the hard part.

Here we go!

25036395The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst: This rich adult fantasy set in what appears to be Avatar the Last Airbender’s Spirit World.  Spirits inhabit nature and select women have the ability to control them.  These women train and then compete for the chance to be the next queen.  One of these women is Daleina, who loses her entire village at a very young age to an attack of spirits.  She is not particularly talented, but she is especially determined, and her progression from young girl to competent woman is something to see.  Now, there is a relationship in this book, but it features so little it’s almost tossed in as an afterthought.  Much of the book focuses on Daleina’s growth and training.  The most prominent relationship is between her and her trainer, which is kind of a father-daughter dynamic.

29241322A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby: This is an interesting historical fiction novel about Joseph Merrick, more popularly known as the Elephant Man, an Englishman who exhibited severe deformities.  The novel is written from the perspective of Joseph’s nurse Evelyn, who also suffers a deformity.  The two develop a powerful, touching friendship that becomes the crux of the novel.  While this book does become somewhat repetitive after a while, it writes very descriptively of nineteenth century London and features many interesting and layered characters.  I also think it’s quite a refreshing idea, fictionalizing a short time period in the life of a man who was known only for his appearance in freak shows.  It humanizes a historical figure through the eyes of a similarly anguished female character.

26200137The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne: I barely know how to describe this book.  It follows a young Indian girl named Meena, who decides to return to her birthplace of Ethiopia by traversing The Trail, a strange energy-type bridge that connects India to Africa over the Arabian Sea.  Her perspective is interspersed with that of Mariama, a young girl from Western Sahara who journeys across the Sahara with an enigmatic woman named Yemaya.  This is a very strange book set in a very odd future.  There is no romance whatsoever because the plot is entirely focused on these two women and how their worlds come to intersect.  The end left me absolutely reeling.  I feel like I have to go back and re-read this book twice in order to fully understand it and comprehend all the symbolism and analogies.

22609208Dreams of Shreds and Tatters by Amanda Downum: In an homage to weird fiction, this horror novel brings forth Carcosa and the King in Yellow.  Liz Drake, a woman with prophetic dreams, journeys to Vancouver to rescue her friend Blake from the clutches of the Yellow King. In her dreams, which are quickly becoming real, she must journey to the mysterious Carcosa to pull Blake out.  This novel is thrilling and bloody and will send shivers down your spine.  Liz is in a relationship, but it’s a minor point in the book.  More prominent is Liz’s friendship with Blake and her increasingly disturbing dreams of Carcosa that are swiftly transforming her reality into a phantasmagoria she can’t seem to escape.

23307808City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett: Shara Thivani, a spymaster posing as diplomat, journeys to Bulikov, a city that ruled the world before its Gods were killed, in order to investigate the murder of a historian.  Her search leads her to suspect that perhaps Bulikov’s Gods are not as dead as they seem.  City of Stairs debuts an incredible female character in Shara, and the world-building is dense and original.  In particular the focus on religion and Gods was intriguing and chilling.