Saturday, 29 March 2014

Romance in a veil of fantasy - Citizen by Natasha House

Set in the world 1000 years or so on from what we know and things have changed. The planet is no longer ruled by humans, but by aliens known as citizens. Humans are slaves, dogs that are kept in control by threats and brutal punishments. Lend is a young man living in the wild, until he is captured and taken to the city. He is bought by a female citizen, wanting him more to make a point to a would be mate than for practical reasons. With his defiant ways and her reluctance to discipline him by burning, a bond develops and each sees the possibilities of the other race.

The action builds quickly with some form of relationship blossoming. Her father is a very powerful man and she has grown up with his hatred of humans all her life, so trust is hard to find. When things spiral out of control, they need to make a life or death decision, and everything will change forever.

This book quickly jumps into action, one minute Lend is with his family the next he is being tortured and dragged to the city to be sold. The first thing that came to mind when reading this, was planet of the apes. A world turned upside down, humans under tight control not allowed to speak, and death is a common theme. Of course the human spirit will not rest and there are always undertones of rebellion. To me the writing wanders a little at times, I felt it could be a little tighter and the relationship between Lila and Lend grows a little too quickly. Almost from the moment they meet, there is a connection and would have liked to see the aggression between the two of them a little longer. The editing is good and the pace moves you along nicely. If you would like romance with a fantasy feel this would be a good read for you.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Enders Game Film Review

Star rating: 4/5 stars

Outstanding! From the graphics, to the acting, it is flawless. Gavin Hood and Orson Scott Card’s work on this movie is commendable (I struggled to find many faults). It all started off with Ender Wiggin, a young boy who is considerably more strategic and intelligent than the other students on the programme. He is chosen to be trained to become a commander, however he finds it difficult to leave his family, especially his older sister Valentine, due to his affectionate relationship with her. As he gets to the training base, he continues to shine brighter than the other students, making friends such as Petra, and enemies such as Bonzo. Repeatedly, he continues to shock everyone, as he is constantly improving and using tactics that lead him and his team to victory in his battles. All of this training builds up to a fantastic finale, which definitely shocked me.

Personally, I thought that this was a great representation of the book, as I have already read it, which I considered to be equally as incredible. Perhaps I would have chosen an actor who was slightly smaller, because in the book I feel like Ender is portrayed as being quite scrawny and a bit of a “wimp”. I found it was the opposite case with Bonzo because in the book, I imagined him being tall and strongly built, however in the movie he was actually smaller than Ender? I had to reduce my rating to 4 stars; the ending felt too rushed and because it was rushed it wasn’t fully explained. I felt quite confused at the end of the film. More time should have been spent on the end, and less time on extra battles.

Overall, I was pleased with Enders Game and would definitely recommend you to watch it. Even if you aren’t a sci-fi lover, it is a great film because I don’t particularly like science fiction, although I really enjoyed this movie. It has an action edge to it with a hint of romance between Ender and Petra. The acting was perfect from Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield; they definitely made the film complete. Honestly, Enders Game is worth the watch.  

By Cheyenne Linsdell, age 13