Posted in TV Show Reviews

TV Show Review: Shadow & Bone S01

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance

Review:

So I finally watched Netflix’s Shadow & Bone! It took me a while to get in the right frame of mind to watch it, but I’m glad I waited until after my re-read of the Shadow & Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology.

First off, I have to address the issue of racial discrimination in the show. I figure the producers might have wanted to add another chip on Alina’s shoulder along with her being an orphan, but this did not sit well with me. I found myself getting annoyed over this every time I came across it in the show. This was a major unwanted change from the books and I did not appreciate it at all.

From the books I previously did not like Alina and Mal much. But I ended up loving Mal in the TV show. The actor, Archie Renaux, did a great job. He was so authentic, he made Mal look far better than in the books. As for Alina, I still don’t like her. It’s not a stab at the actress, Jessie Mei Li’s performance because she portrayed Alina well. I always emphathized with Alina’s situation in the story – as an orphan, then being alienated, the burden of responsibility but still I just couldn’t warm up to her.

Now, the Crows! Kaz, Jesper, Inej, Nina & Matthias were my favorite part of the show. God, I loved them! The cast selected for the Crows were perfect, absolutely flawless. Watching them come to life in the show was like a dream come true. I had hearts in my eyes like a heart emoji in every Crow, Nina & Matthias scene. I can’t wait to see more of the Crows.

The show stayed about three-quarters true to the books. In my opinion, the changes that were different to the original Alina-Mal-The-Darkling storyline were quite unnecessary and to be frank, a bit irritating. The only change that I appreciated and loved was how seamless the addition of the Crows to the storyline of Shadow & Bone was. They fit in like they had been part of the original storyline from the beginning.

The Darkling. This review wouldn’t be complete without an opinion on him. I loved the Darkling in the books but Ben Barnes wasn’t quite whom I pictured as the Darkling. That said, I can’t find fault with his portrayal as the Darkling but I feel like some of that Darkling intensity was missing. However, that ending scene in the finale was fantastic.

The special effects were pretty good and the depiction of the different Grisha powers and the Volcra was excellent. One thing that I enjoyed a lot was how the opening credit for each episode was different, especially the one with the crows.

Another favorite scene of mine was Leigh Bardugo’s cameo. That was beautiful to see—the author amidst her beloved characters. It wasn’t just touching but felt like a tribute to the author and I loved that.

For a first season, Shadow & Bone showed great promise and potential. I can’t wait to see more, especially the Crows and I am happy the show was renewed for a second season.

Dark forces conspire against orphan mapmaker Alina Starkov when she unleashes an extraordinary power that could change the fate of her war-torn world.
[Adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novels.]

∼Lyn

Posted in Book Blog, Kdrama Reviews

Kdrama Review: Vincenzo

Synopsis:
The story of an Italian mafia lawyer who came to Korea due to the betrayal of the organization, wiping out the villain in a villain’s way with another lawyer.
At the age of eight, Park Joo-hyung (Song Joong-ki) went to Italy after being adopted by an Italian family. He later joins the mafia where he is subsequently adopted by Don Fabio, head of the Cassano mafia family. Park Joo-hyung was renamed Vincenzo Cassano and became an Italian lawyer, a consigliere for the mafia, and Don Fabio’s right hand man. After Fabio dies, Paolo, Fabio’s biological son and the new leader of the Cassano Family, attempts to kill Vincenzo. Vincenzo flees to Seoul and sets out to recover 1.5 tons of gold that he helped a Chinese tycoon secretly stash within the basement of Geumga Plaza. However, a real estate company under Babel Group has illegally taken ownership of the building and Vincenzo must use his skills to reclaim the building and recover his fortunes. Vincenzo becomes involved with lawyer Hong Cha-young (Jeon Yeo-been), the type of attorney who will do anything to win a case.

Rating: 2/5 🌟🌟

Genre: Comedy, Legal, Revenge

Review:

I first came across the actor, Song Joong-ki, in the Kdrama, Descendants of the Sun and I loved him in it. His acting was excellent and let’s not forget the main thing, he’s so cute! 😉 So I had high hopes for Vincenzo.

He’s so cute!

Alas, that was not the case. Vincenzo is supposed to be this cunning, badass, consigliere for the Italian mafia and at first he seems to be just that at the start of the first episode. But as I kept watching, there were so many scenes where he wasn’t the super-cool badass anti-hero which dimmed my enthusiasm about the drama. There were many moments where a real consigliere would have been more ruthless and clever but Vincenzo just didn’t rise up to the occasion.

Hong Cha-young now, she started as this unscrupulous lawyer but things happened that caused her to change and fight for justice. I loved her style and her attitude. She wasn’t just feisty, she was snarky when needed. She became one of my favorite characters in the drama.

The overall plot-line had so much potential but scenes which should have had a more serious impact lacked a certain depth that rendered them inert and flat. In addition, the humor was too much at times and instead of appearing humorous, felt ridiculous.

That said, there were some scenes that I really enjoyed and gotta love the ending scenes with the comeuppance delivered with absolute ruthlessness, though the climax felt kind of rushed. The one thing that kept me going was how some of the scenes were so emotionally-charged, you couldn’t help but feel them. They made watching the Kdrama worthwhile.

So peeps, this makes post #4 of May. 😉

∼Lyn

Posted in Book Blog, New Releases

Cover Love – Shadow and Bone & Six of Crows

Hola, Book Dragons. I just saw that Shadow & Bone and Six of Crows got new covers based on the Netflix upcoming show. How cool is that? I am so loving these new covers. Gimme, gimme!!! *grabby hands*

Have you guys seen these awesome covers? I think maybe I’m one of the last people to have seen them lol. I figure April will probably be the Grishaverse month now. 😉

∼Lyn

Posted in Book Blog, Kdrama Reviews

Kdrama Review: Start-Up

Synopsis:
Set in South Korea’s fictional Silicon Valley called Sandbox, Start-Up tells the story of people in the world of startup companies.
Seo Dal-mi (Bae Suzy) is a bright and ambitious young woman who dreams of becoming Korea’s Steve Jobs. Dal-mi doesn’t have a fancy background but she’s passionate about her work. She has bright energy and is a person of great vitality, having experience in a wide range of part-time jobs.
Nam Do-san (Nam Joo-hyuk), is the founder of Samsan Tech. A ‘math genius’ as a young boy, Do-san was once the pride of his family but became their shame now, as his business has been going down for the past two years. He finds out that Dal-mi mistakenly remembers him as her first love, so he decides to work his way up in hopes of turning that misunderstanding into reality.
Air date: 17 Oct 2020 to 06 Dec 2020

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Love triangles, Romance

Review:

If you guys have been following my blog for a while you know I’m not a fan of love triangles. In fact, I tend to avoid stories with love triangles. But I still remember when I checked out this Kdrama. I’d had a tiring and stressful day travelling to and from work and I was feeling pretty low. I only decided to try this Kdrama because of the actor, Nam Joo-hyuk, whom I loved from Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo in which he was awesome.

I started watching episode 1 of Start-Up and I told myself if it sucked, I would just drop it. By the end of episode 1, I’d cried my eyes out, I was hooked and it wasn’t even because of Nam Joo-hyuk. No, it was the storyline that drew me in.

I continued watching and somehow I don’t know when it happened, I fell in love with the second lead, Han Ji-pyeong—played by the actor, Kim Seon-ho. I loved the young, prickly Han Ji-pyeong a lot but I have no idea when the actor, Kim Seon-ho snuck up on me and made me fall for him.

I was now stuck with classic second lead syndrome and I continued watching the Kdrama because of him and the delightful grandmother, Choi Won-deok. They were my favorite characters in this Kdrama and I believe the heart of Start-Up.

The storyline is a good one, about the reality of starting a company from the ground up—all the blood, sweat and tears, living with the pain of disillusionment, the crushing blow of failure. Just for that one tiny miracle of success.

The first lead, Nam Do-san, was a bit disappointing (played by Nam Joo-hyuk – the whole reason I wanted to watch Start-Up) but I found Kim Seon-ho, who’s now one of my favorite actors. Start-Up was a good Kdrama though it was the secondary characters who made it worth watching for me.

∼Lyn

Posted in Book Blog, Kdrama Reviews, New Releases

Kdrama Review: The King: Eternal Monarch

TKEM

Synopsis
Lee Gon (Lee Min-ho), a modern-day Emperor of the Kingdom of Corea, attempts to cross the barrier into an alternate reality where the Republic of Korea exists in the Kingdom’s stead. He comes across detective Jung Tae-eul (Kim Go-eun “Goblin”), whom he recognizes from an identity card he obtained during the turning-point of his childhood, his father’s assassination. Lee Gon’s half uncle, Lee Lim (Lee Jung-jin), who assassinated the previous king, Lee Ho (Lee Gon’s father), is in hiding and assembling armies whilst traversing back and forth between the two parallel worlds.

Air Date: 17 April 2020 – 12 June 2020 Continue reading “Kdrama Review: The King: Eternal Monarch”

Posted in Book Blog, Miscellaneous

Cast for Shadow & Bone series!

Guess what? The cast for the Shadow & Bone series has been revealed and do they look cool, or what!

netflix_shadowbone_cast

I’m sure most of you already know about the Grisha trilogy and Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. (If you don’t, go check out the books, they’re pretty awesome!)

So Netflix will be releasing a new TV show based on Shadow and Bone (the first book in the Grisha trilogy) and this show will also incorporate the Six of Crows duology, including the famous characters in the Grishaverse.

I’m really looking forward to the show but I do hope it won’t be a disappointment like the Shadowhunters series, whose cast definitely did NOT reflect the characters from the books. (Case in point – I only stomached the first 4 eps of the series before dropping it and I’ve never been tempted to go watch it).

The cast for Shadow and Bone seems more or less perfect for the characters in the Grishaverse but only when the show premiers that we’ll know.

Thoughts, people?