Koalafications

I love reading like a Koala loves eating eucalyptus


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Catching Fire

Cover of "Catching Fire (The Second Book ...

 

So I’m pretty sure everyone knows that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire just recently came out in theaters.  I went the day it came out to a double feature of Hunger Games and Catching Fire in IMAX.  It was great.  Now I’ll admit that Catching Fire is my least favorite book in the series.  I just really dislike books that cannot stand on their own as a story.  It is one thing to need some of the background information from an earlier book, but it really bugs me when a book has no conclusion to its story.  Suzanne Collins ends this book with a huge cliffhanger.  It actually seems like it is the beginning of something rather than the end.  However, I feel like the movie does a great job of bringing the story to life.  It stays very true to the book.  Obviously there are some things that are left out because they don’t want to movie to go on forever, but overall this was pretty good in terms of an adaptation and much better than the first movies in that regard.

 

I was disappointed by some of the things that were left out.  The story of Haymitch’s experience in the Games is one of those things.  This story gives us a look at Haymitch as well as finishes the explanation of where Katniss‘s mockingjay pin comes from.  I enjoyed knowing that Haymitch also showed up the Capitol in his Games by using the force field around the arena to help him win.  I do realize that the story of the mockingjay pin in the movies is completely different from that in the books, but the story in the books is so great that this is a real disappointment.  The pin comes from Madge (the one friend Katniss has other than Gale).  She tells Katniss that it belong to her aunt, Maysilee.  Maysilee was close friends with Katniss’s mother and was reaped to compete in the 50th Hunger Games (the year that Haymitch wins).  Haymitch and Maysilee had an alliance for part of the Games.  There is so much more meaning to the importance of the pin when this background is known.

 

The movie also leaves out a lot of what happens in District 12 prior to the 75th Hunger Games.  The wedding dresses, Katniss getting trapped outside the fence, plotting with Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch, the cheese buns, Gale’s mom working for Haymitch. So many important things for setting up the story and the motivations that these people have for doing what they do.  Also, the three victors training for the Games.  The movie also gives a different reason for Gale being whipped making him seem more heroic rather than just a guy with some turkeys.  Plus, it still makes me mad that they don’t have Peeta lose his leg.

 

What is included in the movie is done very well.  I also saw the movie before I reread the books.  I think this helped me to appreciate the movie more because I wasn’t nitpicking it right away.  All I know is now I’m super excited for Mockingjay and can’t wait for part I to come out next year!

 

 

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End of My Hiatus

Hey Guys,

Sorry I haven’t posted for a very long while.  Things got kind of busy and crazy which means blogging was the first thing to go.  But even though I wasn’t blogging, I have still been reading.  I recently finished reading City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare.  This is the fifth book in the Mortal Instrument series.  I am very sad because the sixth and final book isn’t supposed to come out until next year, which is entirely too far away.  I hate getting really invested and interested in a series that isn’t complete yet.  I just want to know what happens.

But anyways, the Mortal Instruments series follows Clary Fray as she discovers some new things about her life.  First she learns that she is a Shadowhunter, which means she is part of a line of humans that have some angel blood and battle demons and protect regular humans, or mundanes.  She also finds out that her dad (Valentine) is one mean mamajama.  He views the Clave (governing group of Shadowhunters) as being corrupt and wants to overthrow them, so he gets all buddy buddy with demons to basically have a genocide of Shadowhunters.  Clary also finds out that her mother (Jocelyn) has been hiding all of this from her so she really has no idea about what happens in the Shadowhunter world.  She makes a group of friends that help her understand this new world.  And she falls in love with Jace Herondale (Morgenstern, Lightwood, Wayland…..he has lots of names).  This creates its own set of drama especially when Clary thinks that Jace is her brother.  Turns out he isn’t (he was just raised by Clary’s father as if he were his son), but they do have a shared bond of being more angelic than other Shadowhunters, which gives them enhanced abilities.

Clary does have a brother who also has many names, Jonathan Morgenstern or Sebastian.  Sebastian is actually part demon because Valentine gave Jocelyn demon blood to drink while she was pregnant (but she didn’t know that is what is was).  This gives Sebastian abilities that are even more enhanced.  Jace kills Sebastian and Clary in directly kills Valentine.  But then there is a ceremony and a spell that brings Sebastian back to life and connects him with Jace.  This is where City of Lost Souls starts.  Sebastian kind of kidnaps Jace mostly through a spell that binds there lives together so that if one is injured or killed, the other faces the same fate.  Everybody wants to save Jace.  Most of the book is spent trying to figure out how to sever the connections without killing Jace.

Ultimately, Simon, who is Clary’s best friend and a vampire and protected by the Mark of Cain, is able to get Glorious which is the sword of an archangel.  Clary uses this sword to stab Jace.  It burns all of the evil out of him which severs the connection to Sebastian, but does not kill either one of them.  So they are able to save Jace but not capture or kill Sebastian.  This means he is still on the loose with a plan to ally with demons, turn Shadowhunters in to part demon beings, and basically take over the world.

So now we have to wait to see how it turns out.  But it’s not all bad news.  The first book in the series, City of Bones, is being turned into a movie that comes out later this year.  Also, Cassandra Clare wrote a second series, The Infernal Devices series, that is set in the same world but during a different time period.  She also wrote The Shadowhunter’s Codex as a sample training manual of what Shadowhunters like Jace and Clary would have used to learn what to do when dealing with demons and in different situations.