Snapshots - #42: Thor: Ragnarok, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, LBJ

Thor: Ragnarok (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Thor has saved earth twice by now and has, for the last two years, wandered the universe searching for infinity stones. He hasn't found any. He has, however, become prisoner of an enemy of Asgard, Surtur, who tells Thor that his visions of Asgard engulfed in flames is a premonition of Ragnarok—the destruction of Asgard, which is already in motion. Thor frees himself and arrives at home to find Loki sitting on the throne, passing as Odin, and neglecting his duties to protect the Nine Realms. With Odin's exile, Asgard's enemies have been reassembling, but Odin's death may just free Hela, a goddess against whom neither Thor nor Loki are enough.
It was in Thor: The Dark World where Loki, an antagonist, first threatened to steal the show. He became the villain that Marvel fandom loves to hate. While Loki is at his most charming in this film, the director, with the help of a sparkling screenplay, has very much exploited the great chemistry of t…

One Summer by David Baldacci (♦♦♦)

Thirty-five year-old army veteran Jack Armstrong is dying from a rare disease. His last wish is to make it until Christmas…But on Christmas night his wife dies in a car accident on her way back from the pharmacy where she had gone to pick up Jack’s medication. Soon after his wife’s funeral, his mother-in-law offers to take his kids away and put him in a hospice to spend there his last days alone. As his kids are taken from him, Jack miraculously starts to recover, and after two months, he is given a clean bill of health and is discharged from the hospice.

After his recovery, Jack travels across the country to pick up his three kids who are living with relatives in the West Coast. With his best friend Sammy in tow, as well as Corey, Jack Jr. and Michelle--his three kids--Jack moves to a beach house he has recently inherited in the coast of South Carolina. As Jack befriends Jenna Fontaine--a town’s business owner and former DC lawyer—and her son Liam, his own issues with his kids and the way he has been dealing with his grief come into play and he has a new opportunity to heal and bring his family together once again.

This book is a fast read, but one feels the story drags along describing Jack’s bereavement and his inability to mend his family. However, Jenna’s character proves to be his salvation and the book’s too for she is wise and helps enlighten some family members about each other’s plight. As the story progresses, it warms up as a South Carolinian summer, and the last pages are read with a mixture of concern and faith in the fate of this family.