Book Editorial, Books, Editorials, Movies

Five books to read if you liked ‘Ender’s Game’

You’ve read the book. You’ve seen the move. Now what? Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a modern classic and much beloved. Many people are going to be experiencing Ender’s world for the first time through the movie release this week, and old and new fans alike are going to be itching for something similar. Here is a list of five books that you might enjoy if you loved Ender.

the-giver-by-lois-lowry1: The Giver, by Lois Lowry

This is another modern classic, and was one of the first dystopian books written to be seen that way. It’s a small book and a quick read, but it packs a lot of punch with great characters and a unique world. Here’s a blurb:

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

starship troopers1:  Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein

This is another book that was turned into a movie. Sometimes referred to as the grown-up version of Ender’s Game, this is a great read that makes you think about what’s important and the way we view the world. And there’s creepy alien bugs! Here’s a blurb:

The historians can’t seem to settle whether to call this one “The Third Space War” (or the fourth), or whether “The First Interstellar War” fits it better. We just call it “The Bug War.” Everything up to then and still later were “incidents,” “patrols,” or “police actions.” However, you are just as dead if you buy the farm in an “incident” as you are if you buy it in a declared war…

In one of Robert A. Heinlein’s most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universe—and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind’s most alarming enemy.

old man's war3: Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

Scalzi is widely popular for his interesting scifi books, and this is one of his best (and also happens to be his first). He manages to keep the characters really human, which is one of the best parts of Ender’s Game as well. That, combined with greag humor and fresh-feeling scifi makes this a great read. Here’s a blurb:

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-and aliens willing to fight for them are common. The universe, it turns out, is a hostile place.

So: we fight. To defend Earth (a target for our new enemies, should we let them get close enough) and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has gone on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity’s resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force, which shields the home planet from too much knowledge of the situation. What’s known to everybody is that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve your time at the front. And if you survive, you’ll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.

John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine-and what he will become is far stranger.

the name of the wind4: The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

This is a fantasy book, not scifi, but it’s another example of an exceptional child being put into interesting adult situations. This book is hugely popular, and Rothfuss creates a diverse and complex world filled with interesting people. Here’s a blurb:

The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime- ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet’s hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.

the maze runner5: The Maze Runner, by James Dashner

This YA dystopian is unique and fantastic, and is a world of all boys and one girl trapped in a maze with no idea why they are there. There’s a great creep-factor, interesting mysteries, and wonderful peer dynamics that Ender’s fans will enjoy. Here’s a blurb:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

What do you think? Any books we missed that you think fans of Ender’s Game will enjoy? Let us know in the comments!

 

Book News, Books, Movie News, Movies, News

First Look at Clary from the ‘Mortal Instruments’ Movie!

Fans of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series are probably aware by now that there’s a movie in the works. Though the first film isn’t set to hit theaters until August 23rd of next year, the first glimpses of the characters we love are being revealed.

Today, Entertainment Weekly released the first official sneak peek photo from Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Here’s Clary Fray, played by Lily Collins, showing off a shadowhunter rune:

Clary Fray, played by Lily Collins.

The author had this to say about the image: “Clary has the ability to both create new symbols and make runes that are stronger than other people’s. In this scene, she is fending off an enemy with the first rune that she’s ever drawn on herself at the amazement of the other Shadowhunters. It was very reassuring to come on set and see everything covered in runes and replicated down to the last detail. The movie was definitely made by people who love the books and wanted to do right by them.”

The first official trailer is set to release later this week, be sure to check back with us! Want more? Cassandra Clare did an awesome exclusive interview with ew.com about casting and movie spoilers, so be sure to check it out here!

[via ew.com]

Book News, Books, Movie News, Movies, News

‘Life of Pi’ Movie Trailer is AMAZING!

Life of Pi is one of my all-time favorite books for many reasons (the animals, the religious chat, the beauty and imagination,  and on and on). As many of us book people know, when your favorite book gets turned into a movie, trepidation often sits in your heart right next to excitement.

Let me set you straight for this book. If the movie is anything like the trailer (and we know, a lot of times it isn’t, so again, I say this with hesitant excitement), this is going to be an AMAZING movie.

Here it is, in all its glory:

Confession time: I literally teared up with emotion when I watched this. Seeing the beautiful Richard Parker with Pi, and some of the most gorgeous scenes from the book brought to life before my eyes, I was completely blown away. BLOWN. AWAY. It’s directed by Ang Lee (known for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Brokeback Mountain, among others) who I think does a great job, so again, there are high hopes with this one. The film also stars Shravanthi Sainath, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Irrfan Khan, Gerard Depardieu, and the lovely Tobey Maguire as Yann Martel.

What is this Life of Pi, you say? Not aware of this fantastic book, and want to read it before the movie comes out? Here’s a summary:

Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction

Pi Patel is an unusual boy. The son of a zookeeper, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior, a fervent love of stories, and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.
The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional-but is it more true?
Life of Pi is at once a realistic, rousing adventure and a meta-tale of survival that explores the redemptive power of storytelling and the transformative nature of fiction. It’s a story, as one character puts it, to make you believe in God.

Life of Pi is set to hit theaters on November 21st.

 

Book News, Books, Movie News, Movies, News

Michael Scott’s ‘The Alchemyst’ to be Made Into a Movie — With Him Writing the Script!

Big news, Flamel fans! The Alchemyst, book one in Michael Scott’s New York Times Best-selling The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series is being brought to the big screen!

What’s even better is that they approached Scott with the opportunity to write the script, which he immediately agreed to. As The Hollywood Reporter reports, “‘I immediately responded to the producer’s vision in bringing the first book in the series to life,’ Scott said.”

Australian-based film company AMPCO Films is set to finance and produce the movie, with filming to start in February of next year down under in both Australia and New Zealand.

Reporter also states:

“AMPCO’s Mario Andreacchio (Captain Johnno, Paradise Found) will produce with Konstantin Thoeren (Peter the Great, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Lili Marlene).

Stefan Brunner, former COO of Imagenation Abu Dhabi, is packaging the project and will executive produce alongside Scott and Barry Krost. Lawless Entertainment CEO Cathy Malatesta brokered the deal for the film rights and will co-executive produce.”

I personally haven’t heard of any of those people, but with Michael Scott writing the script, we can at least be sure he’ll stay true to the story he created. Let’s just hope the filmmakers can bring it to life and give it the feel of the books. We’ll keep you updated as info rolls in!

What’s the book about? Here’s the summary on amazon:

He holds the secret that can end the world.
The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life.
The records show that he died in 1418.
But his tomb is empty.
The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It’s the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That’s exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it.
Sometimes legends are true.
And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

The sixth and final book in the series, The Enchantress, hit shelves recently, so now’s the perfect time to start this series cover to cover and be ready for when the movie comes out!

[via thehollywoodreporter.com]

Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews

‘Dark Shadows’ Underwhelms, Despite the Stellar Cast

Confession time: one evening recently I was sitting at my parents’ house and when the commercial for Dark Shadows came on my mother started laughing and got all excited. I was intrigued that she was so into this movie, as fantasy and horror are definitely not her thing. But she clarified for me that this movie is based off of a 70’s TV show she really enjoyed.  I had no idea, and since I had already signed up to review it for Lytherus, my mom joined me for a movie date.

The premise is this: Barnabas Collins (played by Johnny Depp) is a dashing young man in colonial Maine, son of the founder of the town and loved by many. He has a fling with the maid of the house Angelique (Eva Green), but when she asks to hear him say “I love you,” and he won’t, she kills his parents by making a statue fall on them. Oh yeah, she’s a witch. Things only get worse when Barnabas falls for the beautiful Josette (Bella Heathcote), so to get revenge Angelique forces Josette to fall to her death and causes Barnabas to become a vampire so he can eternally feel his loss. To exacerbate this she chains him in a coffin and buries him alive.

Two hundred years later some workers digging a pipe line find his coffin, and Barnabas is let back into the world. His future relatives are still living in his old house, but the family fishery business is in the can. He integrates himself into their lives, determined to return the family to its former glory.

I am sad to say that this movie really did nothing for me. There were a lot of things that made me excited to see it: the fact that it’s a Tim Burton film with actors Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Lee Miller, and Helena Bonham-Carter of course. The commercial had some funny one-liners, mainly from Depp’s character, and the fact that it was in the 1970’s added an amusing dynamic. But none of these things redeemed this movie in the end.

All the good lines and scenes were shown in the previews, so I was expecting a much funnier, wittier movie from the sample the film peeps provided. And there was some attempt at the dramatic during the “tense” scenes and the climax, but though Danny Elfman’s score flowed nicely, the movie didn’t match up with the striking music.

Also, though reality is suspended from the start since we’re dealing with a witch and a vampire, towards the end of the movie things went from expected fantasy to just plain weird. Strange things were sort of thrown in haphazardly, and it became almost comical. That’s really where the movie lost me.

All in all, this movie was a disappointment. The only redeeming factors I can think of are the awesome 70’s soundtrack and the fact that Johnny Depp gets to make out a lot(which was almost weird to see, as he doesn’t do that often in his movies). My mom liked it, so I guess not all was lost. She didn’t say though if it was similar to the show, so if there are any fans of the old show who happen to see this movie, drop us a line and let us know your thoughts!

Dark Shadows hit theaters on May 11th.

Movie News, Movies, News

Francis Lawrence Officially Brought on as Director of “Catching Fire”

Director Gary Ross is no more in The Hunger Games movie franchise. It’s been said for a little while that he was no longer on the project, and it’s confirmed that he’s officially been replaced by Lionsgate with director Francis Lawrence.

What does this mean for the second movie in The Hunger Games series, Catching Fire? Well, Lawrence is best known for his directing on the movies I Am Legend, Constantine, and Water For Elephants. His I Am Legend interpretation steered away from the book’s ending (though that may have been soley the screenwriters’ faults), but I thought his version of Water for Elephants was pretty close to the book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So here’s hoping he’s able to bring Catching Fire to the screen in such a way that it stays true to the book and carries forward the amazing momentum the first movie has created.

What do you think? Based on those movies, do you think Lawrence can pull it off?

Movie News, Movies, News

TOTAL RECALL teaser trailer hits the web!

 

The full trailer for the new Total Recall reboot will release this upcoming Sunday, but until then, here’s a teaser trailer to hold fans over.

 

Here’s the movie description, for those of you who are unfamiliar: As the nation states Euromerica and New Shanghai vie for supremacy, a factory worker (Farrell) begins to suspect that he’s a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he’s on.

I laughed a little when I watched this, because it’s a teaser trailer for the trailer, which we don’t often see teasers focus on. Overall though, it looks cool (though I personally am not a fan of Mr. Farrell, in general). Will it be better than the original, though, remains to be seen.

Total Recall is set to release on August 3rd.

 

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Check out five minutes of SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN!

To compete with the other Snow White film Mirror Mirror hitting theaters this weekend, Roth films just released a five-minute extended preview of Snow White and the Huntsman, which comes out in June. The site I first saw this trailer posted on gives a warning that you’ll basically learn the whole plot of the movie, so I opted not to watch it, as I want to be surprised. But here it is, for those of you who are curious!

 

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First full BREAKING DAWN PART II trailer!

A few days ago we brought you a super-teaser trailer for Breaking Dawn Part II, and mentioned the first full trailer would be playing before the Hunger Games in the theater. Well, here’s that trailer for your viewing enjoyment! It’s still more like a teaser trailer in that it’s less than a minute long, but you can see Bella (Kristen Stewart) in her creepy vampire glory. Check it out below!

Movie News, Movies, News

Filming has Begun on ENDER’S GAME — First Photo Revealed!

It has begun. Filming for Ender’s Game has started, and the producers of the film have made a tumblr account to showcase various behind-the-scene things from the filming process. The first photo from the set (of Ender’s chair) was revealed, and though it isn’t much, it’s a beginning of what is hopefully something amazing.

Follow the tumblr to keep abreast of all that’s happening! We’ll also be covering big news as it gets revealed!