Feb. 5th, 2019

jacey: (Default)

I don't usually read tie-in fiction because I usually find that on some level it disappoints, however right from the get-go Nancy Holder (and James Lovegrove) capture the spirit of what is possibly my all-time favourite TV show by my all-tine favourite TV writer, Joss Whedon. The trick to Joss Whedon's writing (if you can call it a trick) is to delve deep into character while turning up the comedy one-liner-quotient to eleven, and all this while not losing sight of the drama and plot line. His writing is a tour-de-force whether you're looking at Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the fabulous one-liners in Toy Story 1 (Whedon was the script doctor.) I didn't expect Whedon to write his own tie-ins. He's somewhat busy with – y'know – directing major movies, but I do feel that the authors mostly capture Whedon's spirit, especially at the beginning of the book.

This Firefly adventure is pretty much like watching an episode and covers approximately the same type of ground. It's set part way through the first and only season, more towards the latter end. The major characters are all assembled. River is still wambly in the brain-pan; Simon still hasn't made a pass at Kaylee; Zoe and Wash are happily married, and Jayne has the knitted hat and a gun called Vera. Mal is his usual cynical self, but he can't afford to turn down a job, which is why they all find themselves on Persephone's Eavesdown Docks getting ready to transport crates covered in warning stickers (as in warnings of imminent explosion should the crate be rattled, wet, warmed up etc.) Maybe they shouldn't have taken another job from Badger, but they need the cash to keep flying (presuming he pays them this time).

Oh, yeah, this is gonna be great!

Badger's job (transporting unstable mining explosives) is one thing, but when Mal is kidnapped he ends up being tried in a kangaroo court as a traitor to the Browncoats while his crew follows every clue available to trace him. There's some interesting backstory from Mal's youth on Shadow, before the war, which I assume can be taken as canon since this is an official tie in.

jacey: (Default)
I'm a sucker for the How to Train Your Dragon movies with Hiccup and his Night-fury dragon, Toothless, and a whole host of recurring characters voiced by a plethora of recognisable actors from Gerard Butler and Cate Blanchett to Kit Harrington and David Tennant. This is the third outing for Hiccup and co. This time Hiccup's Viking settlement is overrun by the dragons they've rescued and they are attracting the attention of dragon catchers and, in particular, dragon hunter, Grimmel, who speciales in killing Night-furies. Hiccup is now the leader of their small but expanding community and he has an understanding with Astrid (but they aren't married yet). He's desperately trying to shoulder the burden of leadership alone. As the dragon population increases and the bad guys get closer, Hiccup dreams of finding the Hidden World his father talked about, where humans and dragons will be safe together, but he has some tough choices to make as Toothless falls in love, and things change. It's a sweet story with some nail biting action and tense moments which lead to a satisfying resolution. The moral of the tale? We are stronger together. As usual the animation is superb.

This whole franchise is particularly noted for having an amputee hero who grows past his disability and never lets it slow him down. Great for children and pretty darn good for adults as well.

And just in case you haven't seen this Jon Snow/Toothless 'audition on Youtube, take a look. It makes me laugh every time. https://youtu.be/pXCpc2Bcirs

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