Category Archives: lore

Cuckoo’s Calling

the-cuckoos-callingOkay, this is actually a pretty recent read. Like last two years or so read, which is probably more recent than most of these books (rereads not included). Anyway, I know what you all are thinking, it says it’s by Robert Galbraith but we all know that’s just J.K. Rowling in disguise and yes, I did only want to read it because I found out the real author…however, bare with me because this is no Harry Potter book.

The series follows gruff, war vet turned private detective Cormoran Strike, who is basically everything I’d want in a noir detective but he’s stuck in modern England. He’s accompanied by Robin, who is newly engaged, newly moved into the city and just supposed to be temporary. Their first meeting is anything but smooth. However, after a bumpy start the two begin to work better together. The plot is set in motion by John Bristow, who knows Cormoran from childhood. His adopted sister, Lula Landry (a famous model) died three months previous and all except Bristow had accepted it as suicide, Lula having been known to deal with mental issues and drug abuse. Strike is reluctant to take on Bristow’s case but Bristow is well off and offers enough money to make a dent in Strike’s piling bills, so he takes the case, though he expects to find nothing different than the police did…what follows is a murder mystery that had me guess until the big reveal, something I never saw coming.

There are several thing I enjoyed about this story. The first is it’s characters. Cormoran Strike is rough, not just around the edges, but everywhere one looks. He’s not good at being soft or kind unless he means it. He drinks, he’s missing a leg, his looks are nothing to swoon over and he doesn’t have enough social skill to charm the pants off a desperate cougar…however, he is huge and intimidating and that works just as well. Robin, on the other hand, is pretty normal. She loves celeb gossip, her fiancée and  the idea of mystery and danger more than the actual practice of dealing with both. She’s stubborn, intelligent and cheeky and I enjoy the back and fourth she and Cormoran build as the story continues. I like the way the story kept me guessing, which might not be hard to do in books because I haven’t really read many detective novels but according to Criminal Minds and the first episode of BBC’s Sherlock it’s pretty hard to fool me, so take that as you will. I really enjoyed how fully fleshed out Lula Landry was. She is dead at the beginning of the story, but she still comes to life as we uncover her story. She was relatable in her struggle to understand who she is, not just the being adopted part but being mixed. For me a lot of what she struggled with connected on a deeply personal level.

There are moments that are slow, I will say that. But the thing about it is, every slow moment seems to develop the characters more, for me at least. There was something really realistic about the the ebb and flow of action throughout the story. Some moments hit as slower than others but overall I really enjoyed reading this and would recommend it.

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Mind Blowing Fan Theory

So there is a fan theory that Harry, Ron and Hermione actually represent the other three houses and the only reason they were placed in Gryffindor is because they were brave enough to ask…this blows my mind, but not for the reason you might think.

Neville didn’t ask to be placed in Gryffindor, he actually tried to convince the Sorting Hat he wasn’t brave enough for Gryffindor, but the Hat insisted he was and placed him there anyway. Think about that for a minute…

Basically, what blows my mind about that is that, if the fan theory is correct then Neville should’ve asked to be in Gryffindor. If the fan theory is still to be considered correct despite Neville not asking to be in Gryffindor, then that mean means Neville was so brave and chivalrous and so…Gryffindor, the Hat changed the rules for him! The Sorting Hat knew Neville would never ask to be in Gryffindor, but it also knew he was meant to be in Gryffindor, more so than even Harry Potter.

I think this one sticks out a lot for me because, I have loved the character of Neville Longbottom since he first lost Trevor…maybe I just have a soft spot for the underdog, but I think, deep in my heart I knew he was more than he was being written as in Philosopher’s Stone. I knew he was a Gryffindor for a reason. Maybe the Hat made mistakes once or twice, but I never thought Neville was one. So, this fan theory just resonates with me because it proves just how Gryffindor Neville has always been. He might have been scared of many things, but he woke up every day and faced them head on. He took the punishment and kept on pushing. He was, in my eyes, the bravest Gryffindor in Harry’s year, perhaps one of the bravest there ever was.

Just thought that might be something to think on. Anyway, two posts in a day…I’m a wild woman ;D. Until next time guys, thanks for reading.

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Zombies

This is it guys, letter Z! I’m so excited and happy to have been going through this with you all. I can’t believe I actually kept up with every letter, because let me tell you, I did think I wasn’t going to do it at times. But here we are and Z stands for Zombies! Seriously, I cover Vampires and Werewolves, two of the biggest monsters to show up in geek culture and you didn’t think I’d cover Zombies too? So I miss the chance to cover cyborgs, but zombies have been oh so big lately haven’t they. I mean we’ve had everything from classics retold as zombie movies to all new takes on them, and the show The Walking Dead is one of the biggest on TV.

So, the idea of zombies comes from Haitian and African lore, where the corpses of the dead have been told to be reanimated by magic. The original name for the creature was zombi, in Haitian French and zonbi in Haitian Creole. In the folklore they are the dead being brought back by necromancy by a sorcerer, and they have no will of their own so they are essentially slaves of the sorcerer who brought them back.

The idea of the modern zombie we know does not truly take form until several novelettes by H.P. Lovecraft in which a mad scientist who tries to raise the dead. He is, to an extent, successful. however the dead he brings back are primal, violent, mostly mute, uncontrollable and the beginning of what we think of when we talk about zombies today. Though the creatures were never described as zombies, they were what other writers looked to when they began creating their own undead creatures. It was these stories, along with the book I Am Legend (though this is classified as a vampire novel) that greatly influenced George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, which is (much like Dracula) the basis for all modern zombie films.

Romero meshed the idea of Vampires, with their ability to spread their disease with the idea of the primal and violent zombies and created something truly terrifying. A creature with no mind, no self-control, and the ability to spread it’s illness throughout the lands. This is the zombie we know today. After that, this is what zombies were, creatures created often by an inept government trying to create biological warfare or simply experimenting when it all goes horribly wrong. The idea that dead anywhere and everywhere could suddenly become the enemy was terrifying. But I honestly feel like the two factors which made the idea of zombies the most terrifying were that, 1: anyone could easily become a danger, because life is such a fragile thing to hold on to, and 2: the dead outnumber the living. We would literally start this battle at a disadvantage and be at rick every moment of losing the person fighting beside us to the other side.

Honestly, the idea of zombies has always scared me more than vampires or werewolves because unlike the other two diseases this one has been told to cross species. Also, being eaten alive sounds like the absolute worst way to go. Luckily for all of us, Neil Degrasse Tyson has proven why zombies would never be a threat. To give you all peace of mind, here is the link: http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/iegury/neil-degrasse-tyson–buzzkill-of-science

Don’t you feel better now? I mean, except for the whole space zombies thing.

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Vampires

One of the most famous villains of all time. They have shown up in every form of entertainment possible and have recently reclaimed their previous fame…but perhaps not their previous glory. Vampires have actually been a point of heated debate lately. What does it mean to be a vampire? How do they act? How do they live? What do they look like? These are all questions people have been asking and changing the answers to for a great bit of time. All over YA books the idea of what a vampire is has been changed. Well, the thing about them is, every culture has its own version of the vampire, so there is actual lore and there is fiction works. I’m going to delve into both.

Actual Lore/Classic fiction:

There are three major ancient lore origins, but the only one that seems to give weight to the idea of vampiric creature being undead in Indian lore, which speaks of ghouls taking over dead bodies. Mesopotamian and Greek lore speak mainly of slighted women and female demons who often times preyed on babies rather than men and women. so our modern lore seems to take bits and pieces and combine them to create the types of vampires we imagine today.

In classic fiction we find the most widely known example of a vampire, Dracula. There have been others before him, but he is the most widely known. Dracula set the pace for every vampire that came after him. This vampire is no longer a demon, but a man who is, for lack of better explanation, sick with a sort of disease. Since it is a disease it can be caught. This was the most terrifying aspect, that Dracula could turn others into vampires as well, this was also the first time this idea had been presented. He was a blood sucking creature of the night, died by a stake through the heart, and Van Helsing’s method was stake through the heart, chop off their head and stuff their mouth with garlic I suppose this was for good measure. The fear of garlic, the inability to step out in sunlight, the stake through the heart, these are all things that though taken from different lore but combine to make one scary creature, just trying to spread his disease and build a family.

Modern fiction:

Here is where people begin to feel differently about vampires. In newer versions of vampire stories we get vampires who can walk around in day light, or must only avoid direct sunlight. Writers have also stepped away from the coffins for sleeping, or sleeping altogether in some cases, and stakes through the heart or being repelled by crosses and garlic. Many of the aspects that some believe make vampires, well vampires, have been removed from modern story telling. What’s more, modern-day vampires seem to focus more of the love aspect of the story, wanting love, lost love, being lonely, than the horror aspect. Vampires have become friendly and safe and the idea that they are the alpha predator has been lost.

The Debate:

The debate comes in when you have those who miss the Stoker vampire days versus those who love the modern take on vampires. I personally feel like if there was a middle ground it would be interesting. Like take out the stakes and garlic, but keep the apex predator idea and the forcible disease-spreading and you’ve got one terrifying story. You could even add in a little love if you wanted but never lose the horror of what a vampire is.

Well, that’s all the info I’ve got for you today. Also, It’s my birthday so I’m going to go out and have some fun. See you guys on Monday! Can you believe we’re already down to V? Only 4 letters left…I’m kind of sad to say it’s ending.

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