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Page: 1
by William Malmborg
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.26
20 used & new from $7.26

20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Typical First Draft, August 5, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Jimmy (Paperback)
This review is solely for the Kindle version. I have not read the printed version, and several of the problems I have with this book are from this format particularly. It will be spoiler-free so I can deter potential readers from spending their money on it. Firstly, I came into this book expecting something scary and chilling and perhaps a little disturbing. The author did an interview on Reddit recently, which is how I found his books in the first place. He advertised his work as "horror" and "thriller", so naturally I took a look because those are my favorite genres, which can probably be said for the most of the potential readers here. Spoiler alert: this book is none of those things.

My absolute biggest problems with this book are the horrific grammar and the syntax of the sentences. Every page - every single page - of the Kindle version had some type of mistake, be it a misspelling ("we're" as "were"), missing commas, or run-on sentences; of all these examples, the run-on sentences were the most common and egregious. I found myself gritting my teeth while reading because of the overtly juvenile structure of the phrases. I read somewhere that the author first wrote the book as a 17 year old kid, and that it wasn't until he was 26 that it was published. It seems very clear that the draft wasn't touched in the nine years between. This book was an editor's or English teacher's worst nightmare. I can't imagine that someone with a degree and a job to maintain could have proofread this book and sent it out for publishing. I can't stress enough how much I hated the laziness and childishness that shone throughout the pages. There were dangling infinitives of the verbs, endlessly unending sentences that just wouldn't end, and disgustingly asinine descriptions of things that just deserved so much more. I kept reminding myself that it was a 17 year old who was writing it, but that doesn't absolve it of its crime of just being /bad/.

As a caveat, the story and plot themselves are written simply and straightforward, which is not something you are probably looking for in a book with this type of logline. The characters were one-sided and boring; they are all stereotypical and unimaginative teenagers who show nothing except their main face: this is the cheerleader. This is the dork. This is the bully. This is the 'Special Snowflake Girl, who is beautiful but totally ignored by everyone except the one dude". (Think Bella from Twilight... that is the caliber of writing you see in this book.) The conflict between kidnapper and victims was unapologetically flat and, annoyingly, fairly boring. Of course you root for the victims to escape and survive, but only because you're a decent human being. There's nothing about the main character/villain Jimmy that you care for as you're reading, which was disappointing because when I opened the ebook file, I expected to come out it torn between wanting the victims to triumph and wanting Jimmy to get away with his awful crimes. This was just a missed opportunity. It doesn't feel as if you're in his mind; it feels as if the writer is laying out bullet points and you as a reader check off each one like you're taking notes in class. There's nothing deep or meaningful about any of the characters' "journeys" from beginning to end. There were also a few plot twists that were completely unnecessary and only included to try and give depth to past conflicts, but the author goes about this in the laziest, path-of-least-resistance way that I rolled my eyes when the truth came to light. There are serious trigger warnings within the pages: rape, bondage (duh), torture, and misogyny.

This book brought back war flashbacks from grading my peers' works in Creative Writing workshops in high school. I began to feel like I wanted a red pen that worked on my tablet, just to keep track of how many mistakes there were (seriously guys, there were a lot.) As a 22 year old in college, I would be ashamed to turn in a draft like this to a teacher. I expect so much more from authors whose works get published, no matter the platform, so I hope you forgive this review if it was too harsh for you. As a reader, I'm disappointed. As a writer, I'm embarrassed. As a customer, I'm relieved it only cost me 99 cents and a few hours out of my time.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2014 11:15 AM PST

Treasure Planet (10th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray + DVD)
Treasure Planet (10th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray + DVD)
DVD ~ Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Price: $12.97
40 used & new from $7.97

84 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Adventure Bigger than the Stars, March 18, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Treasure Planet was not a blockbuster hit like its predecessors, through no fault of its own. It is one of Disney's rare cult classics, gathering a small but rabid following of fans who praise its beautiful, revolutionary art direction, including the use of fully-mapped CGI environments upon which the characters were animated, and the fun, genuine voices of the all-star cast including Emma Thompson, David Hyde Pierce, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It is a true Disney story with its young protagonist, Jim Hawkins, growing from a sullen teenager to a brave, hard-working young adult in one amazing adventure through space.

The story was pulled from Robert Louis Stevenson's swashbuckling masterpiece Treasure Island, in which the young Jim Hawkins grows to care for his mentor John Silver and is therefore devastated to learn that his teacher is in fact a pirate in disguise, looking to mutiny along with the rest of the crew. The story is translated to sci-fi amazingly well, using a 70-30 ratio for the mise-en-scene of the whole thing. 70% is true to its original tale; characters wear 18th century fashion, the architecture of the spaceport is all Georgian, and the ship on which they travel is a beautiful three-mast schooner with a few modifiers for the journey. 30% is sci-fi, with laser guns, giant holographic treasure maps, and a crew of exotic aliens ranging from cute to downright scary.

(Detractors of the movie quickly point out that the ship is not closed, and how could they be breathing in space anyway? The directors, Ron Clements and John Musker, revealed in the 'Art of...' book that the universe where they live does not work with the same properties as ours. There is air and weather in space, as well as nebulas and dying stars to make the journey treacherous.)

Treasure Planet as a whole deserves more credit. It features all the basics of a Disney classic: a handsome, sympathetic main character; a diabolical antagonist who you come to care for as much as the heroes; a bumbling sidekick and his leading-lady love interest; and the slightly-annoying Third Act Addition character. The story carries as much heart as, say, Lion King or Pinocchio. The art is truly stunning; just sit back and watch the colors of space swirl across your TV screen, or the subtle-but-perfect facial expressions of the characters. Clements and Musker admit much time and thought was put into the eye movements of the characters, trying to make them look as real-life as possible.

Last but not least, I need to mention and rave about the score. James Newton Howard really seemed to throw himself into making the soundtrack as beautifully classic as possible, with a full orchestra really setting the mood for a pirate tale set in the 1700's. It has several moments of pure adrenaline, pure bittersweet happiness, and pure longing for your own ship and crew to take to the stars.

The picture quality for the Blu-ray is sound. The transition up from standard def did not result in the sparkling white of the drawn lines that afflicted the Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray; everything here is crisp and clear and smooth, and the upscale resulted in the most vibrant colors I've ever seen from this movie. The background of space in its swirls of blues and purples and the warm and cool colors of the digital lighting from fire to nighttime are better than they've ever been. The CGI parts of the movie were also upgraded with the release; one of the detractors of the film was that the brand-new computer graphic technology looked janky or amateur. Not anymore. Now it fits seamlessly into the 2D world and you barely notice it.

The sound of the movie blew me right out of my living room. Granted, I do have Bose speakers, but I've watched my DVD of Treasure Planet plenty of times, and never before has it sounded so grand and clear. It was clearly tinkered with, to give even more life to this movie. I heard background noises that I've never noticed before, like the conversion had made them better.

The ONLY, ONLY ONLY ONLY, problem I had with this release was that the special features have all been seen before. The only new parts were introductions to each section of feature (art direction, characters, animation, development, etc.) by Laurie Metcalf, the actress who voiced Jim's mother Sarah Hawkins. The interviews with the creators and directors were all on the DVD, and they're included on the Blu-ray in standard def, with black borders and pixellated images reminding you that you're watching featurettes from 10 years ago.

Regardless, this is a Blu-ray worth buying and treasuring forever. Since I never, ever believed it would come out in 1080p glory, I'm about to fall to my knees and kiss Disney's boots. You will not regret giving this larger-than-life movie a chance, and I'm willing to bet you will find it a welcome addition to your Disney Blu-ray collection.
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 13, 2012 2:16 PM PDT

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