Reading V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic (Part 8)

Reading VE Schwab's Shades of Magic

Well, it’s time to make a bargain and gain an adventure buddy! You knew that was coming, I assume.

Here is a link to the series index, for your convenience. Go there for previous entries!

Eight: An Arrangement



Kell wakes again in Lila’s bed, though he’s not tied up. The rain has stopped and it’s morning. For a moment, Kell wishes to be home, and imagines that Rhy is waking him; he wonders if the royal family has noticed that he’s missing yet. He tries to move, but his whole body feels like a bruise. When he opens his eyes, he finds Lila staring at him. She asks why he came back. He tells her he doesn’t know. She’s not pleased with the answer, but asks how he’s feeling. Kell realizes hat his cuts should have taken longer to mend, and Lila admits that she used his ...

I Have A Lot of Feelings About Christopher Robin

Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh

With the success of the Paddington films, it seems as though certain parts of Hollywood have recognized that we could all do with more films that are the equivalent of hugs and hot chocolate and warm blankets. And since Disney has their own lovable bear to trot out, it was only a matter of time before we could expect a (slightly) more realistic look at the Hundred Acre Wood and all its inhabitants. Christopher Robin aims to tug at the heartstrings, but gently, and with all the simple wisdoms that A.A. Milne’s books have imparted on generations of readers. It succeeds at this feat particularly well.

[Spoilers for Christopher Robin]

Despite some of the action-oriented trailers, anyone expecting Christopher Robin to be a new generation’s Hook will probably walk out confused. Maintaining the tone of Milne’s work was clearly foremost of the minds of the creative team, and ...

Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh
Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, Piglet
Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh

Reading V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic (Part 7)

Reading VE Schwab's Shades of Magic

Welp. You knew it was only a matter of time before someone showed up to nab the Terrifying Magical Object. Right?

Here is a link to the series index, for your convenience. Go there for previous entries!

The Follower



Lila goes for a walk, unable to stop thinking about magic and how it had made her feel to come into contact with it. She heads to The Barren Tide, a pub she goes to to disappear. She gets her hands on a pint, and a man asks if she’s frightened because she’s clutching it so tightly. She notices that the man has a strange accent and appears faded, and figures that he’s not from around there and then that he has something to do with magic. It’s Holland, and he introduces himself to her, and she notices his black eye, but he makes her uneasy, unlike ...

Eddie Brock Tries to Tame His Symbiote Buddy in New Venom Trailer

Venom trailer 2

Look, it’s difficult to be a hard-hitting journalist with principles when you’re waylaid by a creature from outer space who takes over your body to murder people. Probably. One can only assume.

The second trailer for Venom gives us a better look at the symbiote’s personality at least, and a better idea of the tone the film is going for:

The film’s special effects department clearly threw all of their combined skills into making the symbiote’s interactions with Eddie Brock’s body look like nothing else in cinema. So the visuals might be worth the price of admission alone, but it remains to be seen if the film can pull off this grim’n’gritty-but-also-jokes format they’re leaning toward. The end sequence in the trailer is trying to let us know that the movie will still have a sense of humor, but just because there are jokes doesn’t mean that the film will ...

Reading V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic (Part 6)

Reading VE Schwab's Shades of Magic

buyLet’s get together as thieves and try to one-up one another vigorously with no suitable outcome in sight!

Yeah, I love these two.

Here is a link to the series index, for your convenience. Go there for previous entries!

Six: Thieves Meet



The shell around the man that Kell froze with the stone begins to crack. When it does crack, the shell doesn’t crumble away, but rather absorbs into the man’s skin. It darkens his veins and turns his eyes completely black—the compulsion spell destroyed his resistance, letting the magic right in. It takes over his body and moves to the nearest building full of people and laughter.


This section says definitively that the royal sword the man is carrying is stolen, so that’s not great. It also means that two royal guards are going to be in trouble, since we know that losing those swords ...

Arthur Curry Gets the Worst Pep Talk Ever in First Aquaman Trailer

Aquaman trailer, Jason Momoa

You’ve been waiting. Are you ready for the first Aquaman trailer?

In case you were wondering, Nicole Kidman and Temuera Morrison are his parents, so that’s two poorly-adjusted well-loved kids Jango Fett is responsible for:

That’s… a lot of CGI creatures. But it’s pretty! And Patrick Wilson makes for the oddest ice blonde you’ve ever seen.

Watch Billy Batson Shazam! For the First Time in New Trailer

Shazam! trailer, Zachary Levi

San Diego Comic Con brought the very first Shazam! trailer to the Warner Brothers panel, and it’s every bit as delightful as one could hope.

This is charming as all get-out:

Zachary Levi looks like he’s having all the fun you’d expect to have as a kid-turned-superhero. The film’s sense of humor is on-point, and it’s thankfully not awash in the usual DC movie palette of gray, gray, and more gray.

Shazam! is coming to theaters in April of 2019, so we won’t have long to wait!

Dumbledore Sees What He Wants Most in the Mirror of Erised in New Fantastic Beasts 2 Trailer!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, trailer 2, Dumbledore, Mirror of Erised

We’ve got a brand new trailer from San Diego Comic Con for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and it looks like those crimes are really stacking up.

Prepare yourselves for a hard pitch on behalf of wizarding fascism:

There’s a lot going on here, including a pretty clear idea of how events with Grindelwald will unfold going forward. We also get to meet Nicholas Flamel by the end (pronouncing his own name like a true and proper Frenchman, unlike everyone else in the Potter films), which indicates that we might have to worry about him and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone. Newt is being put on a very dangerous path by Dumbledore, but we still don’t know how all the pieces or characters fit together.

And then there’s who Dumbedore sees in the Mirror of Erised. Which he once told Harry was himself holding a pair of woolen socks. And ...

Spock, Captain Pike, the Original Number One, and Mini Episodes in Store For Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek Discovery Enterprise NCC-1701

At San Diego Comic Con, Star Trek: Discovery took the stage with news about the show’s second season… and confirmed a few very special guest spots.

According to now-showrunner Alex Kurtzman was keen to assure fans that will continue to be unlike anything they’ve seen before. The show will return in January of 2019, but fans can expect new stories in December with four mini episodes, each ten to fifteen minutes long. One of these will delve into Saru’s backstory, and Tilly and Harry Mudd are also to make appearances.

Wilson Cruz was on the panel, prompting questions as to whether there was more in store for Stamets and Culber. It turns out that Culber will be back… somehow. Cruz wouldn’t spill the beans, but we will see him again.

In addition, a sizzle reel revealed that Captain Pike will take command of the Discovery at some point in the ...

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Has Been Revived-New Season Incoming!

Star Wars The Clone Wars, new season, new trailer

At a San Diego Comic Con, fans gathered for a 10th Anniversary panel dedicated to Star Wars: The Clone Wars… and got the greatest surprise possible.

Brace yourselves:


For those who don’t know, The Clone Wars was cancelled with its sixth season complete. That season went straight to Netflix, but the show was never allowed a proper ending per se. That is, the show was not allowed to end where Revenge of the Sith began, completing the arc of the Clone War itself.

That’s about to change.

Ahsoka Tano is back! She’s on Mandalore! She’s hanging out with the late-Duchess Satine’s sister! There’s a clear plot possibility here; the novel Ahsoka by E. K. Johnston followed Anakin Skywalker’s former apprentice to Mandalore, where she helped free the population following ...

Jodie Whittaker Made Her Own Props For Doctor Who Audition

Doctor Who, season 11, Thirteen

We don’t often know what goes into casting major roles for television and film, but the fans at San Diego Comic Con were treated to a little behind-the-scenes talk at Doctor Who‘s gigantic Hall H panel this Thursday…

According to Jodie Whittaker, the audition for the Thirteenth Doctor was something she had to film at home, a scene where she defused a bomb. Determined to go all out, she said “I had to make my own props.”

Showrunner Chris Chibnall replied that she didn’t have to do this, but Whittaker was adamant: “I really wanted the job!”

Apparently the “bomb” was  shoebox that she decked out with an iPhone and wires and so on. But for those of you hoping to see this mythical tape, we all might be out of luck–Whittaker apparently deleted the video out of embarrassment, afraid that she might send it out accidentally. ...

“Would you be my new best friends?” Check Out the First Trailer For Season 11 of Doctor Who!

Doctor Who, season 11 trailer

The Doctor is back.

The first trailer for season eleven of Doctor Who just dropped at San Diego Comic Con, and while it doesn’t give a precise date, we are now assured that new episodes are incoming in the fall.

Get ready for your first glimpse of the Doctor and three new companions cavorting through time and space!

I’m sure everyone guessed that this trailer was going to be exciting, but the real kicker is just hearing Thirteen ask if her companions will be her “new best friends.” Because, in the end, that’s really all the show is, and it’s extremely emotional having it stated so plainly.

So. Are you ready to be the Doctor’s new best friend?

Doctor Who will return to television in fall of 2018.

Reading V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic Read (Part 5)

Reading VE Schwab's Shades of Magic

Let’s get our hands on a terrifying magical object! That’s probably a great idea right?

This never goes wrong for anyone else in the history of fiction. I’m certain of it.

Here is a link to the series index, for your convenience. Go there for previous entries!

Five: Black Stone



Lila has been doing some thievery during the day, which is dangerous, but she has to keep going if she means to rebuild what she lost. She thinks about all the pirate gear she’ll need before she sets sail. When she comes across a poor young boy, she tosses him a few coppers. Barron sees her do it, and suggests she might have a heart, which Lila isn’t interested in at the moment. She’s about to come in for some soup when she hears a scuffle amongst street rats, three boys hassling the one she’d just given ...

Reading V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic (Part 2)

Reading VE Schwab's Shades of Magic

Welcome back to Reading V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic! We are on track with our stamp card (when we reach ten parts we get a free latte? I really wish the world worked like this).

This week we’re diving further into the worldbuilding and learning some very interesting stuff about the difference between the colors red and black. As they pertain to magic, that isthe difference between the colors themselves should be pretty easy to divine. Unless you’re colorblind. Anywho…

Here is a link to the series index, for your convenience. Go there for previous entries!

Two: Red Royal



Two guards, Gen and Parrish, are playing a card game that Gen wins. (They both might have been cheating the whole time.) They are Prince Rhy’s private guard, and Parrish likes the prince because he’s lenient with them and sometimes even speaks to them ...

Star Trek: TNG to Possibly Return as Alex Kurtzman Oversees Expansion of Star Trek On TV

Star Trek: TNG, Picard, cigar

Just in case you were worried about Star Trek not getting that fancy “expanded universe” treatment that all the other major properties were getting, never fear! CBS is going all-in on the final frontier, and they’ve decided that Alex Kurtzman is the man to do it.

According to Variety, Kurtzman (who was recently tapped to showrun Star Trek: Discovery after the current showrunners departed following claims of abusive behavior towards their writing staff) has been signed into a five-year contract with the goal of developing new Trek content for television. These shows may be mini-series, animated, you name it. Here are the projects reportedly being tossed around at this moment:

  • A series set at Starfleet Academy from the creators of Marvel’s Runaways, currently airing on Hulu.
  • A limited series with plot details yet to be released. This is rumored to be a Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion, ...

Reading V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic (Part 1)

Reading VE Schwab's Shades of Magic

Hello, friends, and welcome to Reading V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic! It is summer and I need a new series to dive into. I’ve been meaning to pick up V. E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic for ages, but life has continually intervened with my plans.

No. Longer. No longer, I say! (Sorry, getting overdramatic, time to pull back on the coffee consumption.)

I’ve never done a “read,” only rereads, so this should be an adventure. Let’s roll up our sleeves and dive right in.

The book begins with a quote from a character I assume I will learn about later on:

“Such is the quandary when is come to magic, that it is not an issue of strength but of balance. For too little power, and we becomes weak. Too much, and we become something else entirely.

—Tieren Serense
head priest of the London Sanctuary

Well, ...

Star Wars Can Survive Its Cinematic Universe By Doing What It Already Does Best

Solo: A Star Wars Story, Han and Chewie

Are cinematic universes inherently bad?

Star Wars was sold to Disney in 2012, and the result brought that galaxy far, far away into the 21st century—specifically, it guaranteed that Star Wars would expand beyond Episodes I-IX in the Skywalker Saga and continue on and on into the future. No longer a singular modern myth, we will now be watching Star Wars at the cinemas seemingly until the end of time.

Not everyone is into that idea. But Star Wars is actually better outfitted for this future than most.

In a recent article in The New Yorker, Joshua Rothman bemoaned the how empty the Star Wars universe was becoming, citing William Gibson’s novel Pattern Recognition with its coolhunter central character Cayce Pollard, and her physical aversion to disingenuous, diluted branding. The article goes on to cite how the latest Star Wars offering—Solo—was a perfect example of the very ...

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Star Wars, Max Rebo Band
Star Wars: Rebels, Sabine
Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ziro, Sy
Star Wars, A New Hope, binary sunset

Sense8 Has Ended, and We Are Poorer For It

Sense8 finale

One of television’s most beautiful experiments is over.

Sense8 came back with a film-length series finale after fan outcry over Netflix’s cancellation last year. That outcry was well-deserved—there isn’t anything like Sense8 on television or in cinemas. There probably won’t be anything else like it for a long time.

Still, if they were gonna go out, they went out celebrating everything that the show touted above all else: life, love, emotion, and connection in their purest forms.

[Spoilers for the Sense8 series finale.]

The finale is two-and-a-half hours long, which allows for the kind of meandering, tearful goodbye that you are probably hoping for if you’re a fan of the show. The cluster spends the first half working out how to liberate Wolfgang from the sinister BPO corporation, and the rest of it figuring out how to shut down the “zombie” assassin program that Whispers is running through the ...

Sense8 finale
Sense8 finale

Apologize to No One: V for Vendetta is More Important Now Than it Ever Was

V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta is in the awkward position of being a film that was maligned by its original creator, the incomparable Alan Moore. And while I have deep respect for Moore as a writer, I can’t help but disagree with his criticism of this film.

Especially now. Not after June 12th, 2016—the day a man walked into the Pulse nightclub and opened fire, killing 49 people in Orlando, Florida.

A note before we begin. V for Vendetta is a political tale no matter how you cut it. It is also a tale of great personal importance to me, both for its impact when it came out and in light of recent events. With that in mind, this piece is more political and personal, and I ask that everyone keep that in mind and be respectful.

Alan Moore’s experience with the film adaptations of From Hell and The League of ...

V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta