Brett Michael Orr

Review – Empire of Storms

This is a *spoiler-free* review for Empire of Storms. This review contains spoilers for previous books in the series.

The fifth book in Sarah J. Maas’ epic fantasy series was always going to be highly-anticipated and under pressure to deliver. As we reach the pointy end of Aelin’s journey to defeat the evil tyrant, the Dark Lord Erawan, and free her continent from enslavement, there are naturally dozens of plots and characters who have joined her on this epic quest – and unfortunately, Empire of Storms just can’t focus on them all at once.

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Review – Poison City

Poison City has a very prominent hook – essentially, it asks the question, What would Harry Potter look like several years (and drinks) down the road? Reading this gritty South African fantasy though, it offers far more than a potential Potter fan-fic. Instead, Poison City offers up a twisted, gripping ride that feels a Neill Blomkamp-directed version of Men-in-Black.

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Review – Maladapted

Like a science experiment, Maladapted by Richard Kurti feels like a strange creation made from various parts, familiar in some places but alien in others. The result is a somewhat confused YA sci-fi that doesn’t quite reach its own potential.

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Review – Desolation

Bring a strong stomach to Derek Landy’s latest demonic fantasy, Desolation, sequel to the surprisingly good Demon Road from last year. Blood drenches the pages (figuratively) from the very beginning, and the action doesn’t relent for the next five hundred pages – but there’s a rather human story being told beneath that devilish skin.

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Review – Six of Crows

What do you get if you combine the clever heists of Ocean’s Eleven with the multi-POV and superpowers of Zeroes? It’d look something like Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, a new series set in her existing Grisha universe – just make sure you’ve read Shadow and Bone first.

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Review – A Gathering of Shadows

There is no worse literary disease than the cursed middle-book syndrome, and unfortunately A Gathering of Shadows, sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic, is a terminal patient. The second book in the Shades of Magic trilogy is five-hundred-pages of slow exposition that funnels the reader into the third book – an entertaining distraction, but nothing particularly memorable.

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Movie Review – Alice Through the Looking Glass

Tim Burton must have very strange dreams. Or, perhaps, he sleeps rather soundly at night, because all his crazy visions are put into film projects like the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. The newest edition to the film franchise is a departure from Lewis Carroll’s books in all but name, and yet somehow, Burton (with director James Bobin) has produced a film that’s more enjoyable than the first.

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Movie Review – Captain America: Civil War

This is a spoiler-free review.

2016 is the year for superhero showdown movies. Earlier this year, I reviewed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justiceand now I’ve seen Marvel’s own superpowered clash in the form of the third Captain America film, Civil War. What ensues is a slightly long, but overall very enjoyable Marvel adventure – but one that ultimately continues the new tradition of achieving very little with each iteration.

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Movie Review – Allegiant

It’s no secret that the third film in the Divergent series has been unfavourably received by fans and box offices around the world. Die-hard book-lovers criticized it for (excuse the pun) diverging from the novels – but comparisons to the source material aside, there’s a half-decent YA flick underneath the flashy sci-fi skin.
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