Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, a book review.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Sometimes life can be very strange. A while back I bought the book Hex, written by Dutch writer Thomas Olde Heuvelt. I was drawn to it by the fact that it was being promoted as the new Dutch fantasy novel.

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For some reason I put it in my bookcase and forgot about it (sorry Thomas).

Earlier this year whilst I was attending Dutch Comic Con, Thomas was there, signing books. I felt a small pang of shame as I remembered that unread book, still in my bookcase, and bummed I didn’t have it with me to get it signed.

Still, I again forgot about it, until two days ago. One of my friends posted a screenshot of the tweet made by Stephen King, the master of horror himself, praising Thomas his book. How epic and cool is that! So I liked that post and yesterday I got a friend request from Thomas himself.

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Maybe this was the universe telling me, read the book! Ok, ok. I got my copy, settled on the couch and… read the book in one go.

Now I have read loads of books, the fact that I own over 700 of them is prove as well. And there aren’t many books I read in one sitting, where I am drawn into it, forget the world around me and keep turning page after page, desperately wanting to know what happens next. This book did.

Slight note. As I understand it, the English version is slightly different from the Dutch version. I read the Dutch one, but now I want to get my hands on an English copy as well.

Synopsis according to Goodreads:

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves. Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened. The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.

Author info according to Goodreads:

Thomas Olde Heuvelt

  • Born in Nijmegen, Netherlands

 

Dutch novelist THOMAS OLDE HEUVELT (1983) is the author of five novels and many short stories. His work has appeared in many languages, including English, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and French. In 2015, his story The Day the World Turned Upside Down was the first ever translated work to win a Hugo Award. Two more of his stories have been nominated for both Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. In 2016, Olde Heuvelt’s critically acclaimed novel HEX, which became a bestseller in The Netherlands, will be launched around the globe (In the US by MacMillan/Tor and in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton). Warner Bros. is currently developing a TV series based on the book. “HEX is reminiscent of vintage Stephen King, and I can think of no higher praise. Chilli

Dutch novelist THOMAS OLDE HEUVELT (1983) is the author of five novels and many short stories. His work has appeared in many languages, including English, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and French. In 2015, his story The Day the World Turned Upside Down was the first ever translated work to win a Hugo Award. Two more of his stories have been nominated for both Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. In 2016, Olde Heuvelt’s critically acclaimed novel HEX, which became a bestseller in The Netherlands, will be launched around the globe (In the US by MacMillan/Tor and in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton). Warner Bros. is currently developing a TV series based on the book.

I’ll try not to give away too many spoilers.

What I loved about this book, first and foremost is that it is set in the region I originally come from (for the people who read the Dutch version of the book). I was born in a smallish town in ‘Brabant’ although not as small as the town ‘Beek’ mentioned in the book. But how the people and townsfolk act is pretty much how I remember it (minus the horror stuff, but then again, I wouldn’t be surprised). It has nothing compared to living in a larger city where you are lucky if your neighbours greet you at all.

Not until the second chapter you finally begin to get a grasp what the story is about, and throughout the book you begin to grasp the situation about Hex. I imagine when reading the book for a second time you will get a lot of aha moments, small little signs you missed the first time because know you know.

It is amazing how Thomas managed to capture todays life, with texting, popular language and big brother is watching you and at the same time describes that small town feel and throw you back into the middle ages as well.

Some of the horror stuff, nope no spoilers, you should really read the book yourself, reminded me a lot of the books written by Bridget Wood and which I think is high praise. Thomas has captured multiple important ethical dilemmas while being subjected to years and years of indoctrination and pear pressure in such a way that it’s almost scary, even if applied to today’s everyday life and how we as people react to say the refugees’ crisis.

If you are susceptible to nightmares I suggest reading this book during the day, or keep a light on at night when you go to bed. Unfortunately, I’m past this point, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t scare me at some points.

Not one point during the book I had a moment where I had that feel of pages being filled, just for the sake of creating pages (which some books do). From beginning to end it captures you and I hate myself sometimes for having a high reading speed and finishing it in a couple of hours.

The book leaves you hunger for more, but as I said, luckily I can read the English version as well!

Thomas, ik had niet gedacht dat Hex zo ontzettend goed zou zijn. Schrijf meer van dit soort boeken, je hoort thuis in de fantasy wereld en ik kan niet wachten tot een eventuele verfilming en meer van je fantastische verhalen.

This books gets a well-deserved 5 out of 5 star review and I recommend you get your hands on a copy and read it, over and over again, because this is a book you can read multiple times.

Have you read it?

Lots of love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

New series review: Wynonna Earp

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks. Today I will be reviewing Wynonna Earp, or at least the couple of episodes that have been aired up until now (that’s just 4!!!).

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I’m always on the look-out for new series to watch, yep, I have no life, at least not a social one (well, a partially social life). And this time I stumbled upon Wynonna Earp. Or as I call it, hopefully the female version of Supernatural, set in the Wild Wild West if Jo was still alive.

Wynonna Earp is brought to you by the syfy channel and it has that same feeling as a lot of their series. I don’t know what that is, but if you’ve been watching a lot of series you immediately can tell if it’s produced by syfy, or CW or HBO or any other network.

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Originally starting out as a comic book series and riding the success of the Marvel / DC brought to our screens. It specifies as an Action/Western/Fantasy/Horror series. Yep….

According to IMDB: Based on the IDW Comic, Wynonna Earp follows Wyatt Earp’s great granddaughter as she battles demons and other creatures. With her unique abilities, and a posse of dysfunctional allies, she’s the only thing that can bring the paranormal to justice.

But like I said before, it feels like the female version of Supernatural, only the sisters don’t travel cross-country but stay in Purgatory, the town, not the gateway to Hell.

I mean, there is Wynonna herself, leather jacket wearing, drinking, swearing, bad-ass with a gun, older sister coming back to her hometown where just about everyone hates her. She lost her father (shot him) and her sister, has a nasty prophecy hanging above her head and a special gun that can kill demons! Oh and she is trying to protect her still alive sister. (Dean)

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And we have Waverly, the younger sister, trying to bad-ass herself, bit of a dork, super smart, speaks Latin, does a lot of research, had an imaginary friend called Bobo, and wants nothing more than help big sis killing demons. (Sam)

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Agent Dolls, bit of a mystery man, can get his hands on some really old, creepy occult objects, knows his occult stuff, trying to teach Wynonna how to kill demons and other monsters and how to shoot. Doesn’t take shit from no-one but somehow will protect the girls. (Bobby)

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Doc Holliday, once a good-guy, now we don’t know yet, seems to be working for both parties, the good and the evil side, old but still good looking, there is some tension between him and Wynonna and you’re constantly wondering if she is gonna kill him or f*ck him. (Cas)

WYNONNA EARP -- "Keep the Home Fires Burning" Episode 102 -- Pictured: Tim Rozon as Doc Holliday -- (Photo by: Michelle Faye/Syfy/Wynonna Earp Productions)

And we have demons, not the black-eyed ones but these have red eyes, are stuck in Purgatory, again the town and trying to get out before Wynonna kills them with her special gun. If they are killed they get sucked back into hell, looks pretty cool.

So, we’re four episodes in and I kinda like it. It’s funny, I like strong female leads, it reminds me of Supernatural, I don’t know, it appeals to me for some reason.

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts? And no I haven’t read the comics so no spoilers!!!

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy

Penny Dreadful, a couple of episodes in.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Wow, I’m really getting back into this blogging habit and I missed it. I have so much to write about since I’ve been neglecting you all a bit. So without further ado, here’s a bit of Penny Dreadful info and why you should absolutely watch this series! And beware of spoilers as always!

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Synopsis according to IMDB.com:

Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, and others unite to combat supernatural threats in Victorian London.

Synopsis according to the official website:

Some of literature’s most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London. PENNY DREADFUL is a frightening psychological thriller that weaves together these classic horror origin stories into a new adult drama.

My thoughts:

Oh wow, this is epic, really really epic! As I watched the first couple of episodes I found myself hunger for more. All my favorite monsters, beasties and supernatural creepy crawly mixed into on TV show. Where a movie like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen failed, Penny Dreadful is succeeding! I urge you all to go watch it!

It has everything a supernatural series needs, tension, suspension, drama, excitement, mystery, horror, an amazing cast, great acting, epic monsters and gay sex.

Let’s meet the characters:

Ethan Chandler (played by Josh Hartnett): A charming American who finds himself trapped in the darkest corners of Victorian London, Ethan’s charm and brash ways are catnip to the ladies. When Sir Malcolm enlists him to help in a personal quest, Ethan meets Brona Croft, a beautiful local with a mysterious past. But behind Ethan’s bright eyes lurk dark secrets. He is running from something, and his troubling past threatens to overtake him at every turn.

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Sir Malcolm (played by Timothy Dalton): A hardened African explorer on a deeply personal quest, Sir Malcolm has nonetheless paid a heavy price for his exciting career. Although his stately home is filled with marvelous souvenirs of his travels, it is devoid of family and loved ones. With Vanessa’s help, he is determined to right the wrongs of his past, but his toughest journey lies ahead.

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Vanessa Ives (played by Eva Green): Poised, mysterious and utterly composed, Vanessa is a seductive and formidable beauty full of secrets and danger. She is keenly observant — clairvoyant even — as well as an expert medium. Her supernatural gifts are powerful and useful to those around her, particularly Sir Malcolm, but they are also a heavy burden. Her inner demons are very real to her and everyone around her, and they threaten to destroy her relationships, her sanity, and her very life.

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Dorian Gray (played by Reeve Carney): Dorian Gray is a fabulously wealthy young gentleman who is almost unnerving in his beauty. His skin seems to radiate a golden glow of intoxicating youth and promise. A recklessly abandoned sensualist, he has a devil-may-care attitude that borders on dangerous. Nothing seems to faze him, nor are any risks too great. In fact, he is unnaturally drawn to them.

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Brona Croft (played by Billie Piper): Brona is a poor Irish immigrant to Victorian London trying to escape a dark and sordid past. The Gaelic meaning of her name is “sadness,” yet she remains lovely, spirited, and erotically alive. She forms a bond with Ethan Chandler, who will do anything for her.

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Sembene (played by Danny Sapani): Sembene is an African man with ritual face scarring who serves as Sir Malcolm’s sentry and confidant. He has an air of mystery about him and his heroic efforts will prove invaluable to Sir Malcolm in his personal quest.

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Dr. Victor Frankenstein (played by Harry Treadaway): More Romantic poet than surgeon, Dr. Frankenstein is a tender, gentle soul who is fascinated by the mysteries of life and death. He has dedicated himself to researching what makes something live, and has sacrificed everything for his scientific pursuit. But he is playing with fire, and his research pays off in shocking ways with devastating consequences.

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The Creature (played by Rory Kinnear): Dr. Frankenstein’s original creation, The Creature is a hideous, humanoid monster who nevertheless has a deep and anguished soul. His horrible appearance and unusual “birth” have left him a lonely, misunderstood outcast, and he is furious at his creator over his unfortunate fate.

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Are you watching this series? If so let me know what your thoughts are, or if you are planning to watch it. It is truly epic and I’m eager for every new episode. And the good news is, it got renewed for a second season as well, not to mention half the cast appeared in Doctor Who, which is always a good thing.

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Love, your own hot cute girly geek.

PS: character details are from the official ShowTime website.

Hannibal, a review, so far.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks, today I wanna discuss a new series on TV at the moment. Hannibal. It’s been all over the internet so I naturally had to check it out to see if it was something I’d like. Oh and beware of spoilers.

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The thing is, I’m not sure. I watched 7 episodes so far and it’s really disturbing. Let me explain. This is what Hannibal is about according to the website:

One of the most fascinating literary characters comes to life on television for the first time: psychiatrist-turned-serial-killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. In this new drama from Bryan Fuller (“Pushing Daisies,” “Heroes”), based on the characters from Thomas Harris’ classic novels, we see where this incredible story began.

Will Graham (Hugh Dancy, “The Big C”) is a gifted criminal profiler who is on the hunt for a serial killer with the FBI. Graham’s unique way of thinking gives him the astonishing ability to empathize with anyone – even psychopaths. He seems to know what makes them tick. But when the mind of the twisted killer he’s pursuing is too complicated for even Will to comprehend, he enlists the help of Dr. Lecter, one of the premier psychiatric minds in the country. Armed with the uncanny expertise of the brilliant doctor, Will and Hannibal (known as a serial killer only to the audience) form a brilliant partnership and it seems there’s no villain they can’t catch. If Will only knew…

Fuller is a writer and an executive producer. Martha De Laurentiis (“Red Dragon,” “Hannibal”), Sara Colleton (“Dexter”), Jesse Alexander (“Lost,” “Heroes”) and Katie O’Connell also serve as executive producers. David Slade is the director/executive producer for the series pilot. “Hannibal” is produced by Gaumont International Television.

I was intrigued by the idea, I mean, we all watched Silence of the Lambs, and even though I was really young when I watched it and saw it more as a thriller, being too young to pick up on all the cannibalistic references, it was a good movie. I haven’t seen the other movies in the franchise, but I don’t think that’s a necessity.

But to make a TV series about a cannibal? I think we have series like Dexter to thank for that. Dexter itself was pretty groundbreaking for an American based show where we got to see the gory details and I think Hannibal plays right into that slot of crime based serial killer show.

The actual filming and graphics of the series is very beautifully done. When we see Will go into the mind of the killer and relive the crime scene, wow, it’s mesmerizing to say at least to watch it. But one thing is bugging me about Will. In the first episode they say he’s autistic and that his diagnosis of autism is what’s making him an empath. And it explains a bit how he lives, and is socially awkward. But throughout the rest of the episodes, they seem to forget that aspect.

Hannibal-TV-Show-e1361191699262Cleary he is a high functional autistic, but if you stick with a certain theory, please be consistent about it.

I love Hannibal, he is just the type of creepy guy you would totally believe eating people. And his obsession with cooking, mostly organs, is making you shudder as well as hungry. It’s never actually said he eats people and serving people to his friends and colleagues, but it is heavily implied, and sort of the running gag throughout the series. Which I love.

The series is taking things way overboard and I can only imagine the critique it’s also getting from the American public, cause let’s face it; you guys are squeamish about a lot of things.

But the series progress is also a bit slow, and some things don’t add up. It’s like in the first few episodes they tried to implement a lot of storylines and now they are dropping them, or not following through with it.

So for me I’m still a bit undecided if I like it well enough to keep watching it. But like I said, I am intrigued by it. But you do need a strong stomach for this one.450060_600

Have you watched it yet? Let me know what you guys think about it!

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy