Broadchurch by Erin Kelly and Chris Chibnall

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Broadchurch is a novelization of the British crime drama starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman about a murder in a picturesque  seaside town of Broadchurch. I am a fan of the show which is why I choose to read the book while waiting for the second season of Broadchurch and the American adaptation ‘Gracepoint’. The entire novel basically summarize the entire first season of Broadchurch which made it quite redundant for me. If you haven’t read or seen the show, you can choose to read or watch either one of them.

The strength of Broadchurch itself dependent on the quality of storytelling, the cast and the cinematographers that made the drama work but I felt the absence of the cast and the visual medium itself made the novel somewhat lacking. The storytelling itself depended on stream of consciousness which  was a style applied successfully by the tv but it was painfully dull in written format. Not to mention, the novel basically strip all of the screenplay dialogues which made all forms of interactions between characters in the novel somewhat predictable and unimpressive.

It was hard enough to be a novelization but the novel itself should have work out the plot and ease out the character nuisance. The characters of Broadchurch was more flesh out in the tv drama but bland in the novelization. It is understandable that the charisma and the non-verbal acting from the casts was helped by the production quality itself but the text itself doesn’t give out much of the the characterization you’d expect. Personally, I think it was due to the writing style which skim through the characters and it made everything unsatisfactory. It would have work out better had the novel maintain the usual crime novel narratives of who-dun-it and foreboding and foreshadowing. One of my grips about “stream of consciousness” was that it made the pace fast but it didn’t know where to stop and look at the big picture. You might end up getting unnecessary details that made the story and the characters became oversimplified. The book could have utilize limited dialogues and more expression and it should focus on concise expositions and clarity. I know that the multiple characters can be too much but somehow it was harder to focus on the story from the book’s narrative because there are too many different characters to keep track on. I watch the entire season of Broadchurch again and I notice that while the multiple character interchange was seamless the novel made the characters somewhat just a passing stick figure name labels.

I understand that it was a complicated drama to adapt into but the novelization shouldn’t be just a mere copy from the script but as another interpretative of the drama. Since it was an eight-part tv series, maybe you should invest in watching the show first before reading the novel.

The ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

The Mark of the Tala (The Twelve Kingdoms #1) by Jeffe Kennedy

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A quarter of the story I really thought it was a Young Adult Fantasy novel by the writing style until I realize it was a Fantasy Adult Romance novel. I am not sure whether it was significant to me knowing it but I think the book reminded me too much like Kristen Ashley’s Fantasyland series which further reduce my initial acceptance of the book because it is a fantasy novel with an emphasis on romance between characters that are too sparsely crafted to be enjoyable.

Princess Andromeda aka Andi was the middle child of a high-king who controlled several kingdom with a deep prejudice against the magical folks called the Tala who inhabit the neighbouring country beyond the mystical border. She was the invisible princess who was supposed to be a wallflower until the moment when she was assaulted by one shapeshifting Tala who turns out to be the King of Tala who tasted her blood by biting her lips and recognized her as his mate. Basically, half the story was about Andi arguing and hiding against the Tala and half of it was her embracing her lineage and becoming the focus of everyone’s attention because she’s the chosen one. You can assume the rest of the story at this point.

One of the things that really bothers me was the character inconsistencies and the insta-romance. I just don’t buy the ‘romance’ between Princess Andi and King Rayfe. The basic premise of this book around that plot was he assaulted her and she fought him and they tasted each other’s blood and immediately they think they’re meant for each other except that she knived him and he aggressively stalked her in her dreams and wanting to kidnap her afterwards and in her dreams, he continuously sexually assaulted her until she relented and basically gave herself up to him despite it being a bad idea for both of the kingdom and her family. That being said, I also don’t suddenly buy into this mysterious prophecy between two kingdom and her father irrational hate and her sisters treating her like an insect and actually describe her as a cross between butterfly and the crawling feels you get from a spider.

But I was remain interested with the worldbuilding and the whole irrational hate thing which never fully explain in this book because its a trilogy and despite the superficiality of the plot and characters in this book, I actually like Princess Ursula more and kinda wish the next book was about her (so I might read the third book instead of the next book). But if you like mostly romance or sex in a shallow confusing fantasy novel without character development whatsoever like Fantasyland, maybe you’ll enjoy this book more than I did. It wasn’t that bad but its too darn predictable for me.

The ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Star Trek: Khan by Mike Johnson

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Don’t be cheated by the cover. Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t come up until much later through several volumes of this compilation of the new-ish non-TOS Star Trek canon detailing the past life of Khan Noonien Singh.

I don’t know about you, the Khan we all love was Mexican Khan. He is not Sikh and TOS just gloss it out way more offensive than JJ Abrams did. I don’t know about you, TOS series did use that evil foreigner villain trope and nope that isn’t a good attempt to diversify anything. What this graphic novels did was atleast trying to correct the gross appropriation of the character origins… and eventually explain why he look like Benedict Cumberbatch in the end.

I think the graphic novels did more justice to the movies than Enterprise post-“Into Darkness” graphic sequels. For all I know, “Into Darkness” should be renamed as “Star Trek Khan”. I don’t think there’s a direct impact from Spock’s meddling into the timeline as this origin story was several hundred years before the current canon, you could consider it as well the origin story of the original TOS Khan without the actual TOS Khan episodes.

Moreover, it did explain why Khan was genuinely and deeply angry at Marcus for doing whatever he was doing to him prior to “Into Darkness” events and connect the relationship between him and the rest of his original crew. Also it did explain the canon before the utopian civilization happen and how Khan was directly involved with the future.

If you are a Trekkie or just someone who want to learn more about the character or Cumberbitches, Star Trek : Khan was a good modern novelization of your favourite character if you don’t mind Cumberbatch being Khan since I do think he does a good job with it. I’m Asian, its an antagonist character historically played by non-Asian although the character was 100% Asian. Although now that the graphic novel solve the issue of how MexicanKhan become SikhKhan becoming KhanBatch, if JJ Abrams want to fix what Marcus did to Khan with a real older Sikh actor, I don’t mind Ajay Devgan being him.

This ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.