Review: The Last Town – Blake Crouch

Wayward Pines #3

SYNOPSIS: Welcome to Wayward Pines, the last town.

Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrived in Wayward Pines, Idaho, three weeks ago. In this town, people are told who to marry, where to live, where to work. Their children are taught that David Pilcher, the town’s creator, is god. No one is allowed to leave; even asking questions can get you killed.

But Ethan has discovered the astonishing secret of what lies beyond the electrified fence that surrounds Wayward Pines and protects it from the terrifying world beyond. It is a secret that has the entire population completely under the control of a madman and his army of followers, a secret that is about to come storming through the fence to wipe out this last, fragile remnant of humanity. – via Goodreads

Well there we have it folks, the trilogy is done. It’s a super fast trilogy to read, and I am glad that it is all done and dusted now. While not this insanely intricate trilogy, it was fun, albeit predictable and a little silly. Each book has a distinctly different feel to it, and this final one was through and through survival horror, but it was good.

Absolutely nothing shocking came to  light here again, but it was interesting to read about what happened in Wayward Pines after that cuckoo -crazy Pilcher shut off the power. Issues are addressed in this book, the ego of man, but there is no real and substantial lesson to be learned here. The book focuses on the residents of Wayward Pines and the narrative flicks between some characters, be it just to tell about a slice of horror, or to contribute to the main story overall.

Ethan is still not a character I am particularly sold on, and the supporting characters don’t really win you over either. There are still more fragmented sentences than you can shake a stick at and The Last Town still sports the phenomenally questionable and impossible logic and reasoning as its predecessors, but when ones does not focus too closely on that. It barrels on as a light, entertaining read. I am still frustrated at how one dimensional the characters are, and how preposterous things are at times, as well as the silly interactions between people. They come across as so hollow.

I have noticed that these novels are particularly popular and have a loyal following, and maybe I expect more mystery from a thriller, and you know, maybe more thrills, but I could recommend these books if you are looking for a light, quick read. Maybe you find more heart in it than I did. Either way, I don’t regret having purchased these, and they kept me buy and intrigued for a few hours – enough so that I read them back to back, not as filler reads.

100 Happy Days 2: Day 91 – 100

Okay, finally posting the end of my second 100 Happy Days Challenge! I know, it took me long enough. Will maybe soon share what’s been cooking 🙂 Thanks for checking in on this throughout the duration guys!

Day 91:

Restarted The Walking Dead recently. I really liked the first two seasons and watched until five, but thought it got so boring. Let’s see what happens after that.

Day 92:

Picked up a Slush Puppie on the way home from dinner the other night. They are amazing.

Day 93:

Super chilled – watching The Walking Dead and snacking on some Nik-Naks. So good.

Day 94:

What a gorgeous day it was! Green, lush, super sunny without being excessively warm, loved it.

Day 95:

Snaaaaaaacks! The guys chilled and played some games this weekend, so we got snacks and I watched some series and relaxed. We totally needed it.

Day 96:

Naturally ESKOM had the power off for the whole day. Again. So we tripped out to see Alien: Covenant while waiting for the power to come back.

Day 97:

OMG! MY PASSPORT! FINALLY! Had some issues with this. I applied for it, and all went well, and then suddenly last week they closed the home affairs here without any indication of when they would be open again. Naturally this happened after my passport had been dispatched, so I have been panicking. We dropped by and they happened to be open, so I snatched the opportunity up to get this sorted no matter the amount of time it took. Yay! I now have official travel documents again!

Day 98:

Got a sweet score recently from Clicks with their online sale. Yay!

Day 99:

Decided to get adventurous and step out of my comfort zone and try the Nescafé Gingerbread Latté. Not bad.

Day 100:

I love Italian meatball subs. This must be said. This one looked glorious, and I was super excited, but sadly it was not as awesome as I was hoping – it was rather bland. But points to be awarded for presentation.

Review: Wayward – Blake Crouch

Wayward Pines #2

SYNOPSIS: Welcome to Wayward Pines, population 461. Nestled amidst picture-perfect mountains, the idyllic town is a modern-day Eden…except for the electrified fence and razor wire, snipers scoping everything 24/7, and the relentless surveillance tracking each word and gesture.
None of the residents know how they got here. They are told where to work, how to live, and who to marry. Some believe they are dead. Others think they’re trapped in an unfathomable experiment. Everyone secretly dreams of leaving, but those who dare face a terrifying surprise.

Ethan Burke has seen the world beyond. He’s sheriff, and one of the few who knows the truth—Wayward Pines isn’t just a town. And what lies on the other side of the fence is a nightmare beyond anyone’s imagining. – via Goodreads

So I returned to this after completing Pines, a book that was entertaining enough, albeit predictable and messy. Wayward brings more to the table, though it is still flawed. The fragmented sentences still reign supreme, and Ethan is still not the most likable protagonist in the world, and the logic and reasoning is still all over the show and a little hard to swallow, but overall the story definitely had more kick to it this time around.

Wayward breezes along, and to not have to follow Ethan around just trying to figure out who he is and just running is nice. We understand all that is sinister, and while we don’t know everything, we know enough to follow what’s cooking. Ethan’s actions are sometimes beyond ridiculous, but I have come to accept that it is simply how this character is. David Pilcher is explored a little more in this novel, and so is Pam. Ethan and Pam are supposed to hate each other to the ends of the world, but it just doesn’t feel real.

The story of Alyssa, while super engaging, was also rapidly swept under the rug, and dragged out once in a while to remind us that there was a murder investigation at play. I am interested to know what else Tobias learned on his furlough beyond the town, but it was no shocker whatsoever to learn who he is. Theresa annoyed me quite a bit – finally learning the truth and taking that anger out on Ethan, making out that he is an idiot for not changing things, that is not fair.

This book also did a much better job at addressing how things are handled in Wayward Pines, the structures, and how things worked. It almost makes it worse knowing how everything works in the town. Something I did take issue with, however, is how they want the residents to think that they are dead right, but they keep them in line with the fear of death? If you are already dead, how is death an effective threat? SO CONFUSED. I felt that there was a lot of filler stuff in between the actual plot as well as the explanations behind the town and what was going on, but because of the writing style this just zips by at least. As before, the book is more predictable than it would like you to believe.

Anyway. I will definitely read the final installment of this series. I have come this far and I need to know how things are going to work out for everyone, and what the end game is.

May Blind Spot Review: Rear Window (1954)

“I’ve seen bickering and family quarrels and mysterious trips at night, and knives and saws and ropes, and now since last evening, not a sign of the wife. How do you explain that?”
– Jeff

SYNOPSIS: A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder. – via IMDB

So I finally, finally watched this. I quite liked Disturbia when I saw it, and learned after the fact that it was based on Rear Window. I have vowed for years that I would get to this, and it has finally happened folks. I am so damn proud of myself. That being said, let’s talk about the movie, a film I particularly liked for a variety of reasons and can finally understand why it is so revered.

Rear Window faces the challenge of taking place in pretty much one place. I am not usually bothered by this even remotely, provided that the story is solid and there is method to the madness. One set is fine with me. This is a prime example of how to handle a single area. You are constantly wondering about Lars Thorwald and all that Jeff is seeing, wondering if there really is an issue, or if Jeff is so bored from sitting there the whole time and his mind is getting awfully creative. The performances from both the stunningly gorgeous Grace Kelly and James Stewart are exceptionally important for the implementation of the film. Because we essentially only have one area the story is taking place in, their chemistry is important, as well as the delivery of their roles. You buy into their obsession – it starts slowly with Lisa, initially dismissive, and then they are hooked, both of them. This obsession also forces them to come together more – they are also so into each other and dancing around it because Jeff is a fool that thinks Lisa is just some finicky fashionista with no real depth. Idiot.

I enjoyed the dynamics between Jeff, Lisa, and Stella. I was not overly keen on Detective Doyle and his distinctly sexist views on things, but it must also be noted that this movie did touch on feminism. Lisa is a strong, independent woman who totally does not fit the mould Jeff would like to place her in, and Stella is also quite the entertaining woman. I also truly appreciated the dialogue of the film – it is fast, witty and sharp.

The way that the movie was shot is also impressive – the voyeuristic feeling you get while Jeff watches the courtyard and the neighbours lingers. It really comes across as curious, and then moves right into creepy territory, which adds to the suspense and unease you feel when watching this, which is awesome. It is masterfully handled. The runtime for this is rather long, but you never feel like time is being wasted while sitting around and watching it. Instead you are hooked from the off and desperate to see what happens.

Rear Window is a rewarding watch, something I can say I am pleased to have finally gotten to. It is masterfully created, the suspense sets in from the off, it is visually appealing to watch and carried by fantastic performances from our lead. It is engaging and fascinating and well worth the look see.

Review: The Boondock Saints (1999)

“Television. Television is the explanation for this – you see this in bad television. Little assault guys creeping through the vents, coming in through the ceiling – that James Bond shit never happens in real life! Professionals don’t do that!”
– Agent Paul Smecker

SYNOPSIS: Fraternal twins set out to rid Boston of the evil men operating there while being tracked down by an FBI agent. – via IMDB


So this movie is something I have been meaning to revisit for a while for a multitude of reasons. It’s a cult classic, and I can totally understand why. The Boondock Saints is many things, but a shitfest entry it is not, despite what the Rotten Tomatoes scoring would have you believe. This is one of those instances where the critics and the audience did not see eye to eye at all.

I am a big fan of this movie. I appreciate that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and yet it still poses a serious question at the end of the day, something that can lead to vehement discussions (as was depicted in the closing credits, too). The movie is fun, this cannot be denied. There are gunfights, action, blood and gore, humour and fantastic banter between the brothers. It all just works on so many levels.

Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus have fantastic chemistry, and their nice guys routine together just works on so many levels. Also, their loyalty and love for one another comes across and genuine and not pretentious. These guys are loved by the community, they are insanely smart and they work hard, party hard, have fun. Then, of course, everything just changes, and they are still smart and funny, but with a whole new purpose in life. These guys come across like they are living life like they think it should be in action movies, and it is endearing and hilarious. With this change in life enters Agent Smecker. Dafoe gives a wonderfully over the top performance as Smecker, which contributes to the fast, dark humour that is peppered throughout this movie. Also, one cannot forget Rocco, who brings in plenty of laughs, too, and just adds to the madness of the movie.

I must say that some of the performances of the side characters were not as tight as the lead actors for this, and even on the topic of lead actors, as incredibly hot as I find Norman Reedus in this (damn), his accent is quite finicky quite often. The movie balances it comedic nature with a serious edge, too, and the two opposing sides mix quite well, so a good balance is struck early on. It’s also funny, witty and quotable as hell.

The Boondock Saints is a movie that is interesting and lingers after the fact. It provides plenty of entertainment, and leaves you to think when it is all over. It is carried by pretty good performances for the most part and will keep you hooked from the get go. It is insane, gory, bloody, over the top, unapologetic and awesome. Yes, I would recommend this.

100 Happy Days 2: Day 81 – 90

Welcome to the penultimate post of my second round of the 100 Happy Days challenge. Once again, this is a challenge that I have enjoyed, even though it was a bitch to remember to take photos all the time. Thanks for checking it out, too, guys!

Day 81:

I do so love my new jacket. It’s comfy and soft and lovely. Yeah.

Day 82:

Got some choccies – they were quite nice 🙂

Day 83:

Picked up some really nice wool on sale the other day – gosh it is so soft and is lovely to work with. Loving this project when I do get to work on it.

Day 84:

Ooooh, coffee and biscuits!

Day 85:

My go to lipstick for anything and everything is Revlon Suplerlustruous Lipstick in Mauvy Night. So pretty.

Day 86:

Had ridiculous amounts of fun rewatching The Boondock Saints. I totally get why it is a cult classic. Plus Norman Reedus is freaking gorgeous – even with a faulty accent at the best of times.

Day 87:

I quite like this Avon Attraction For Her perfume. Very nice for every day.

Day 88:

Yep, me and my nails again. This time it is Revlon Gel Envy in Hold ‘Em. Lovely dusty dark purple.

Day 89:

Oh yeah, mah new boots! Love them so much and they are comfy and look great. Oh yeah.

Day 90:

Hmmmmm! Nothing like hot chocolate when the weather starts cooling down!

Review: Pines – Blake Crouch

Wayward Pines #1

SYNOPISIS: Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact—he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive. – via Goodreads

I’ve always wondered about these books, and been interested in checking them out, and just never got to it until recently. Amazon had them on special, so figured I would get my hands on them and see. I have never read anything about them and I have not watched the show, but I see it cropping up all over the place, hence I thought it might just be time to look into it.

Reading this, the first thing that popped into my mind is that it read like a Koontz novel. The longer I read, the more it reminded me of Koontz’s The House of Thunder in specific.I have not read spoilers for this story (there are few things I abhor as much), but the twists and turns in this novel did not really keep me in suspense. Why? Because I felt it was really predictable, and nothing really shocked me.

So let’s start with this – the premise is interesting. It is. A special agent in an accident and suffering from amnesia in a creepy little Stepford style town? For sure. Soon after that though it becomes evident that our leading man is not a particularly likable character, and there is a lot of him running back and forth but nothing happening. That does not necessarily make for a boring read, and it helps in this regard that the writing is not particularly meaty – meaning you are really just going to run through this, there is nothing you are going to chew on and think over, to really get involved with. So it certainly scores in the way of a quick read with an interesting premise, even though the execution is a little weak and definitely leaves one wanting. The fragmented sentences littered throughout the book were a source of endless frustration for me though, seriously!

I feel that Pines is a messy book, but entertaining. There was enough mystery to keep me going, although I had pegged the majority of the outcomes and plot twists before they were delivered, and the reveals were no shocker, save one. I have also got to admit that the reasoning behind things as well as some of the logic is completely preposterous, something I struggled to buy into. I know it sounds like a lot of bitching, but the story flows fast and it does pull you in, even though a lot is left to be desired. All that being said, I will check out the next novel in this trilogy. The completist in me will have me read all three; for the sake of completion as well as the fact that I paid for them.