Wednesday, 28 October 2015

RTA 103: Bloggers' Choice (Yay!)- The Kensington Project

I like how we're given the option to choose our topic for this week, however, I feel like my creativity has dried out-- it took me awhile to actually come up with something to write about this week. I guess, after all the motion graphic lectures, the final assignment has been on my mind for awhile. 

I'm doing my trailer for a story that I am currently writing entitled, The Kensington Project. The story takes place in an alternate universe where everyone is segregated between colour, race, and gender, with their only similarities being their first names (everyone is named Jane or John) and being controlled by the Governors. When Jane Alexa meets a mixed race boy, John Daniel, her life gets turned upside down; shipped to House of Governors in the city, she fears the worse, but what she experiences is the opposite. Instead of being condemned by the Governess and her advisors, she is encouraged to pursue her relationship with John Daniel, and finds herself thrust into the middle of an integration campaign. But the longer she stays, the faster she realizes that not everything is what it seems, and soon uncovers the Governors' dirty secrets.

The story is actually based on the Kensington system which was enforced by Queen Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent, and her advisor, Sir John Conroy. It had the world's most ridiculous rules, and was literally a huge ruse just to get her to break so when Princess (later Queen) Victoria ascended to the throne, she'd rely on them- which did not happen. I wanted to use Queen Victoria's oppression and place it in a setting where the character is severely segregated and the world was very similar to ours. 

For the trailer (due to its limited time frame) wanted to feature some dialogue that I've written in the story, and create a build up to the actual title. I was inspired by the Marco Polo's Ink-Drawn Title Sequence, which can be found here. I am actually drawing most of the title sequence, and am still trying to figure out how I'm actually going to execute it, but the title sequence is a huge inspiration for me. I recently purchased a sketch book and calligraphy pens to create the title, and if I do go through with the ink-inspired bleeding in the sequence, I think I'm going to have to do most of it on Photoshop. I'm keeping it simple- it will be black and white- and I am going to record some original audio as well. That's all I have now- just a blur of ideas. What I DO KNOW is that I'll have to watch a lot of Lydia.com tutorials for this assignment. But I am excited. I think I'll just make a full length one for my own amusement. Ironically enough, I'm not done the entire story; the only reason why I'm doing it based on this is to inspire some more plot points.

Review: Found by Harlan Coben

Author: Harlan Coben
Pages: 336
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers 
Released: September 9th, 2014
Status: Mickey Bolitar #3

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

It's been eight months since Mickey Bolitar witnessed the shocking, tragic death of his father. Eight months of lies, dark secrets, and unanswered questions. While he desperately wants answers, Mickey's sophomore year of high school brings on a whole new set of troubles. Spoon is in the hospital, Rachel won't tell him where he stands, his basketball teammates hate him... and then there's Ema's surprise announcement: She has an online boyfriend, and he's vanished.

***

Found by Harlan Coben is the third book in the Mickey Bolitar series- thank goodness, it finally came out!

The story takes place not too long after the second book, and revolves around Mickey's search for his father, and Ema's missing boyfriend. What makes this book different from its predecessors is the fact that its more relationship based, and shows Mickey opening up more towards other people. We all know that he's a good narrator with a guarded heart, but we see his walls break down.

The mystery in this novel is fast paced, but I found myself figuring out what was going on way before. However, I was guessing at times, because I did forget a lot of the second book by the time I picked up this novel.

Overall, it was a good book, and I would definitely recommend this series.


Thursday, 22 October 2015

ARC Review: Velvet Undercover by Terri Brown




Author: Teri Brown
Pages: 336
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Released: October 20th, 2015
Received from: publisher (before publication)
Status: Standalone

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Perfect for fans of Jennifer Donnelly and Libba Bray comes this page-turning historical spy thriller from Teri Brown, author of the Born of Illusion series.

Samantha Donaldson's family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, mathematics, and complex puzzles, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women's spy group La Dame Blanche, she's torn—while this could be an unbelievable adventure, how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes she can't refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known only as Velvet. Deep undercover in the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Sam must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she must fight a forbidden attraction to the enemy—a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Sam find Velvet before it's too late . . . for them both?

A thrilling story of one girl's journey into a deadly world of spy craft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.

***

Velvet Undercover is a wonderful spy story written by Teri Brown set in WW1. The story is intriguing and adventurous, and gave an insight in being a female spy undercover in 1914.

Sam Donaldson's family has been proudly serving their country for as long as she can remember, but when the time comes for her to be selected and inducted into a secret spy organization, she is hesitant. Fuelled by her own curiosity and sense of duty, she finds herself  behind enemy lines, and slowly learning that all that she was trained to do from childhood wouldn't prepare her- or her heart- for what was to come.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book- spy adventures are some of my favourite books to read. Reading this book reminded me a lot of the Gallagher Girls series, just condensed and set in WW1. But what sets this book apart was the fact that our narrator, who, despite the fact was trained in cryptology, maths, and languages at a child, is thrown into a world she only imagined, because she lived such a normal life. 

I liked the mystery, the intrigue, and the adventure was great. I usually read spy stories set in WW2, but having one set in the first one shows how evolved espionage became in between the wars.

Anyways, I highly recommend this book- especially to fans of Ally Carter, Libba Bray and Jennifer Donnelly!



Tuesday, 20 October 2015

RTA 103: Final Album Cover

After today's critique, I decided to take the advice of getting rid of certain elements. So here it is, the final album cover for Coeur de Pirate's English version of her single, Oublie Moi: Carry On.

Book Blitz: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting- Box Set Giveaway!


Hello everyone! I also forgot that we also have The Pledge Trilogy box set giveaway blitz going on today too! 

This giveaway is ONLY open to the US, so to all those in America- good luck! But I have read the first book of the series, and you can read my review here

Unfortunately, you can't find this book in any library in my city or in stores anymore, hence no reviews for the other two books. However, I do hope to finish this trilogy, and I do recommend reading it!

THE PLEDGE TRILOGY BOX SET

Author: Kimberly Derting
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Publisher:  Margaret K. McElderry


Synopsis

The complete Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy, is now available in a collectible paperback boxed set.

In The Pledge, seventeen-year-old Charlaina lives in Ludania, a country stratified by a caste system divided by language and ruled by the cruel tyrant Queen Sabara. But Charlie has a secret skill, and as clashes escalate between the totalitarian monarch and the rebel forces, Charlie might be her country’s only chance for freedom. And though Charlie lays claim to the throne in The Essence, the influence of the evil Sabara does not disappear. Faced with the ultimate betrayal, Charlie must turn to an unexpected resource for help—and to an unexpected ally for love. Then when peace negotiations go awry in The Offering, it seems the only option to secure Ludanian freedom is for Charlie to sacrifice herself. But things aren’t always as they seem. Is Charlie walking into a trap?

Full of danger, intrigue, and blood-rushing romance, this gripping trilogy is sure to satisfy and makes an ideal gift.
 

Purchase the book

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Kimberly is the author of the BODY FINDER series (HarperCollins), THE PLEDGE trilogy (Simon & Schuster), and THE TAKING trilogy (HarperTeen). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the ideal place to write anything dark or creepy...a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. She lives with her husband and their three beautiful (and often mouthy) children who provide an endless source of inspiration.

TWITTER | WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM

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GIVEAWAY

 One Grand Prize Winner will get:
  • A Signed Box Set + $50.00 to the online book retailer of their choice
  • Must be 13 + To Enter | Ships in US Only

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